The NFL reportedly is fast tracking its investigation into allegations by the website Deadspin.com that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre sent inappropriate messages and photos via cell phone to former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger when he played for the team in 2008.
However, the league appears to be going into stealth mode when it comes to this matter.
Asked in an e-mail Sunday morning if the NFL would acknowledge if and when it discusses this matter with Favre or whether the investigation indeed was being "fast tracked," league spokeman Greg Aiello responded, "We are not commenting further at this point. The matter is under review."
The investigation focuses on whether Favre violated the NFL's personal conduct policy.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Fox's Jay Glazer both reported the NFL is acting quickly on this. Sterger reportedly has said she will cooperate with the investigation.
Mortensen said on "NFL Countdown " that the league is“being aggressive about this investigation.” He speculated the investigation could take between four-to-six weeks and that NFL Security will meet with Favre if it believes it has enough evidence after talking with Sterger. Glazer also used the word "aggressive" in his report for Fox on the situation, a clear sign that the NFL wants it well-known it's not taking this lightly.
Mortensen even speculated that he believes a suspension could happen. “Yes, I think sometime in the next four to six weeks if Favre is in violation of the personal conduct policy he will be suspended,” Mortensen said. “He could see his consecutive games streak end and he could even end the season under suspension depending on the timeline of this thing. But I do know it’s on a fast track.”
Wrote Mortensen: "Once the NFL completes its investigation, the source said any disciplinary action warranted under the personal conduct policy -- including suspension - will occur 'as soon as possible.'"
This is an interesting route to take and wouldn't be surprising considering the NFL certainly is under pressure to treat Favre just like it would any other player. The issue is that the clock is ticking. Given what Favre is going through this season, it would now seem extremely logical that this will be it for him.
Favre said at his first news conference of the season in August that this would be his last season but he also has retired twice before. Favre saying he is done and really walking away are two different things.
However, he's now suffering from tendinitis in his throwing elbow that is bad enough that he had an MRI this week and it's believed he has taken injections to manage the inflammation. The fallout from this Deadspin report and the subsequent investigation also is likely enough to make Favre regret he ever returned. Keep in mind, Favre did not appear to be having as much fun during games in September and that was before things started to get really bad.
The league is in a no-win situation because if it takes too long to complete its investigation, Favre's season will end, he will walk away and many will say Commissioner Roger Goodell essentially gave him a free pass. The NFL might be doing itself a favor by working quickly, too, because if it closes this investigation it will not be leaving as much time for others to come forward to the NFL and thus create what potentially could be a real pattern of behavior against Favre.
Deadspin already reported Friday that a woman who worked as a massage therapist for the Jets is alleging she and and another therapist got suggetive text messages from Favre. The Jets, who play the Vikings on Monday night, are cooperating with the investigation.
Monday's game will mark Favre's NFL-record 289th consecutive start.