Brett Favre will extend his record streak of consecutive starts to 260 games on Sunday.
The Kansas City Chiefs would simply like their quarterback to stay on the field.
A troubled Chiefs team featuring a third-string quarterback, an inactive starting running back and the second-worst rated defense in the league must deal with Favre and the New York Jets on Sunday at Giants Stadium.
After losing their top two quarterbacks to injury last Sunday, the Chiefs will send out third-stringer Tyler Thigpen for his second career start.
In his first start since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 1 at New England, Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle completed 9 of 10 passes for 63 yards before sustaining ACL and MCL injuries to his left knee in the first half of Sunday’s 34-10 loss to Tennessee.
“My heart goes out to him,” said Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez. “He’s worked so hard. He’s been so tough with his injuries. It’s just not fair.”
Backup Damon Huard replaced Croyle, but injured the thumb on his throwing hand and was replaced by Thigpen. The Chiefs placed both Huard and Croyle on injured reserve Wednesday, meaning both will miss the rest of the season.
That leaves the offense in the hands of Thigpen, a second-year pro out of Coastal Carolina who guided Kansas City (1-5) on two fourth-quarter scoring drives Sunday as it avoided the first consecutive shutout losses in franchise history.
In his first start Sept 21 at Atlanta, Thigpen completed 14 of 36 passes for 128 yards with a touchdown, but also threw three interceptions in a 38-14 loss.
“I kind of distracted myself in a way that week, just kind of overwhelmed myself being a starter,” he said.
Fourth-stringer Ingle Martin will back up Thigpen on Sunday after being inactive all season. Martin appeared briefly in one game for Green Bay in 2006, but has never thrown a pass in the NFL.
Kansas City was also finishing paperwork Wednesday to sign quarterback Quinn Gray, who made four starts in five seasons (2003-07) with Jacksonville.
Thigpen won’t have the luxury of handing off to Larry Johnson, who has been deactivated for the second straight week. The two-time Pro Bowl running back is being investigated by Kansas City police following a Oct. 10 nightclub incident, in which Johnson allegedly told a woman he was going to kill her boyfriend then spat in her face. The NFL is also looking into the incident.
“But even before (potential league action), I think we have to do our due diligence as a football organization, too,” said Chiefs coach Herman Edwards, who led the Jets from 2001-05. “You can’t wait on other people to do your work for you in certain situations.”
Second-year backup Kolby Smith saw the majority of carries in Johnson’s absence last week, but gained only 20 yards - 19 of them on one run - in 10 carries.
The makeshift offense hasn’t been helped by the AFC’s only defense allowing more than 400 yards per game (402.2). Kansas City has yielded exactly 34 points in losing its last two games.
Favre and the Jets (3-3) look to rebound after failing to win a third straight game, falling 16-13 in overtime last week at Oakland.
New York is also trying to deflect the latest drama surrounding Favre. A Foxsports.com report Sunday indicated the former Green Bay quarterback contacted Detroit president Matt Millen before the Lions’ Sept. 14 game against the Packers to offer information on his old team.
On Wednesday, Favre denied the report.
“I didn’t give him any game planning,” said Favre, who said Millen called him to invite him to go hunting. “I haven’t been in that offense in over a year. I don’t know what else to tell you. It was pretty simple.
“I’m part of the Jets,” he said. “I’m trying to get ready for the Chiefs. I don’t have time to be dealing with other issues, especially other game plans. I wish them well up there (in Green Bay). I really do.”
Favre is coming off his worst game of the season, having gone 21-of-38 for 197 yards and two interceptions in the loss to Oakland. Favre’s 13 touchdowns in his first season in New York rank third in the NFL, but his eight interceptions are second-most in the league behind San Francisco’s J.T. O’Sullivan (10). He has thrown at least one interception in five consecutive games, including a pair of picks each of the last two weeks.
Favre will likely have his favorite target available Sunday, as wide receiver Laveranues Coles is listed as probable despite suffering a concussion last weekend. Coles leads the Jets with 30 catches for 369 yards and four touchdowns.
Thomas Jones enjoyed the second-best rushing day of his career last Sunday, totaling 159 yards on 24 carries. Jones rushed 25 times for 98 yards against the Chiefs on Dec. 30 last season. That game marked a triumphant return to Giants Stadium for Edwards, as Kansas City defeated New York 13-10 in overtime.
The Chiefs hold a 15-16-1 edge in the all-time series between these original AFL franchises.
Favre faced Kansas City four times while a member of the Packers, losing three of those starts.
Blog Coverage from SB Nation
Colin Kelly T, Dustin Waldron T, Ricky Henry G, Travis Kelce TE, Kyle Williams WR, Sanders Commings S, Mike DeVito DE, Ron Parker CB, Jeff Allen G, Anthony Sherman RB, Donnie Avery WR, Dexter McCluster WR, Rodney Hudson C, Justin Houston LB, Branden Albert T, Anthony Fasano TE
Aaron Berry CB, Vidal Hazelton WR, John Griffin RB, Lex Hilliard RB, Josh Mauga LB, Mark Sanchez QB, Antwan Barnes LB, Clyde Gates WR, Mike Goodson RB, Konrad Reuland TE, Troy Davis LB, Josh Cribbs WR, Greg Salas WR, Kenrick Ellis DT, Nick Mangold C, Jeremy Kerley WR, Geno Smith QB, Garrett McIntyre LB, Willie Colon G, Muhammad Wilkerson DE, Santonio Holmes WR, Dee Milliner CB, Antonio Cromartie CB, Kellen Winslow TE, Chris Ivory RB, Stephen Hill WR