Head injury limits Favre's return to less than a half of play

Depending on which side of the Brett Favre(notes) argument you prefer, the news that number 4 would start the first outdoor home Vikings game in almost 30 years is either a dream come true, or an opportunity to miss Monday Night Football and catch up on some old Joy of Painting re-runs. After all, there's only so much sickly sweet Favre-love one can take from the Mike Tirico/Ron Jaworski/Jon Gruden booth, and true to form, the threesome praised Favre for everything from his hard count to the little receiver screen that Percy Harvin(notes) took most of the way for a 23-yard first quarter touchdown. We were also informed that he was having more fun than anyone else, and that he's like a kid out there.

Jaworski was amazed that Favre, who missed his first NFL game since the Paleolithic era with a shoulder injury against the New York Giants last week, could miss practice all week, telling journalists that he was "done," and still come back and play.

Jaws, I love your analysis, but I have a bridge to sell you. He's been playing this game for years.

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However, with 11:32 left in the first half and the Vikings with the ball at the Chicago 48, Favre took a huge sack on third-and-4 from rookie defensive end Corey Wootton(notes), hitting his head on the frozen turf and knocking himself from the game.

Rookie quarterback Joe Webb(notes), who was supposed to start before Favre deemed himself ready to go, came in at that point and will finish the game. The score is 17-7 at the half, and the supposedly ancillary story in this game is that the Bears are gunning for an NFL North title, which they'll earn with a win.

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It's pointless to speculate as to whether we've seen the last of Brett Favre; the man's addiction to attention (and yes, his actual love of the game) will have him drawing this story out as long as he possibly can. But for the sake of the legacy he has left, one hopes the retirement is for real this time. Favre looked gray and haggard in the cold behind a horrible offensive line - it's clear that he's dealing with a host of injuries, and the mysterious elements that allowed him to put up that season for the ages in 2009 are but a distant memory.

[Photo: NBA player takes the court with ice packs on ankles]

Favre finished his day having completed five passes in seven attempts for 63 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The 5-8 Vikings are simply playing out the string, and a major rebuild seems inevitable. It's the Bears who are playing with urgency in the early parts of the game, and they went to the half on the upside of a 17-7 score.

[More: Sad conclusion to Brett Favre streak]

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