Already this season, Brett Favre's(notes) streak of 297 consecutive games started has survived a 3-7 start, his NFL-leading 18 interceptions and an embarrassing, mid-season coaching change. It may not survive this.
The 41-year-old quarterback suffered a vicious blindside hit on the Minnesota Vikings' first drive on Sunday which knocked him out of the game. Favre was replaced by Tarvaris Jackson(notes), who went on to lead the team to a convincing 38-14 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Combining all these factors -- Favre's age, his subpar 2010 performance, Jackson's assumed role as 2011 starter and the fact that the Vikings are out of the playoff picture -- and this hit by Bills linebacker Arthur Moats(notes) could end up being Favre's final NFL play:
Emphasis on "could." The Vikings have already passed up one opportunity to bench Favre and the team may easily do it again. Interim coach Leslie Frazier is in the midst of a six-game audition and if Favre gets healthy and Frazier thinks the future Hall of Famer gives the Vikes the best chance to win, then the ol' gunslinger might have some life yet. However, seeing as how Jackson led the team to a 24-point victory, a pro-Favre argument may be a tough one to make. (It shouldn't be an issue, Jackson should start. There's no reason for Favre to play, other than a misguided sense of duty or loyalty to him by Minnesota.)
[Rewind video: Favre has a very unfortunate practice mishap]
Favre's first snap came 6,979 days ago on Oct. 27, 1991, when he was inserted late into a blowout as a rookie with the Atlanta Falcons. Nineteen years, one month and eight days later, he may very well have taken his last.
Update: Frazier said that if Favre is healthy next week, he will remain the starter. (Sighs.)
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- Leslie Frazier