Coach: Rest key for Brett Favre

Updated: December 8, 2010, 12:41 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- If Brett Favre can throw, he'll go.

Near the end of his 20th NFL season, Favre has created a consistent expectation that he'll play each weekend regardless of what kind of malady he might be dealing with. Earlier this season, it was a pair of fractures in an ankle. This time, it's a sprained joint in his right shoulder.

Interim Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, naturally, said he'd be surprised if Favre doesn't add to his NFL record and make his 298th straight start this Sunday against the New York Giants.

"From what I've been told, rest is probably key," Frazier said Monday. "That's going to be number one, and they'll do some exercises with him to help him as well. But it's not something that can surgically be attended to. It's just a matter of rest and then the rehab that they're going to put him through."

Frazier said Favre will be under constant evaluation. It's yet to be determined whether he'll practice.

"He probably won't practice tomorrow but we'll get a chance to see how he looks on Thursday and just try to make a determination based on that, you know, how things will look for Sunday," Frazier said Tuesday in a radio interview. "But we're all hoping that he'll be healthy enough to play."

The 41-year-old Favre can tolerate a lot, but he couldn't bear enough to get back on the field in Sunday's win over Buffalo after he was flattened on his first pass.

"I really thought he'd come back in the game, just knowing Brett," Frazier said. "As hard as I saw him get hit [Sunday], I've seen him take harder hits and bounce back and come back and play. There's nobody tougher than Brett Favre to ever play the quarterback position."

Favre declined to comment Monday when he walked through the locker room, but he said after the game Sunday he wasn't sure about his status. He also acknowledged uncertainty about a new injury.

"We'll see how it responds to treatment," Favre said.

Frazier said he won't weigh the streak over Favre's safety or the sake of the team's success.

"If the medical people tell me he's clear and he feels comfortable, he'll play," Frazier said, adding: "The streak really doesn't come into play. Brett's got to be honest about where he is. I really trust him in that regard. If he can play, he'll tell us. If he can't play, he'll tell us."

Bills rookie linebacker Arthur Moats was the one who hit Favre and realized if Favre's streak ends, he may be remembered for ending it.

"I don't want to see anybody hurting and not playing any more. If he plays, that would be a good thing," Moats said Monday. "But if he doesn't, and I was the guy to end the streak, all right. That's a little notable, yeah."

Moats has become the focus of attention after he hit Favre square in the back and sent him to the turf on the third play from scrimmage in Buffalo's. Favre did not return and was diagnosed with a sprained joint in his throwing shoulder, leaving his status unsure for this weekend's game against the New York Giants.

"I didn't want to hurt him, but it just happened," Moats said. "During the play, you're not thinking like, 'Oh man, that's Brett Favre.' You're just thinking, 'That's a quarterback. My job is to sack him.'"

Meanwhile, the Vikings plan to sign running back Lorenzo Booker.

Frazier confirmed the decision Monday, with the team still mulling a corresponding roster move.

Booker played this season in the United Football League for the Hartford Colonials, leading the league with an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He was a third-round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins out of Florida State in 2007 and played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008.

With Adrian Peterson playing on a sprained ankle and backup Toby Gerhart hurting his hamstring in Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills, the Vikings could use depth at running back. Frazier says he believes Booker can help the team right away, particularly on third-down situations.

After falling to 3-7 and seeing Frazier take over two weeks ago when Brad Childress was fired, the Vikings have faint playoff hopes. Though they're not yet mathematically eliminated from contention, their best-possible 9-7 record is unlikely to be good enough for postseason qualification. Instead, it's their next three opponents -- the Giants, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles -- who are all in the thick of the race.

Frazier said he doesn't believe the team became complacent or self-entitled earlier this season, but the Vikings have simply been playing the way they envisioned.

"We can feel it," linebacker Ben Leber said. "The energy is definitely great. We've been having some great practices these last couple of weeks, and I think the hard work is really paying off."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.