Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

The smart decision: Put Favre on IR

Posted by: under Injury report, Vikings, Bears, NFC, Brett Favre Updated: December 21, 2010 - 11:15 AM

There were plenty of the usual accolades directed toward Brett Favre after he started Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears, despite the fact he was listed as "out" on the injury report when the day began.

But the reality is that Favre never should have been allowed to start, no matter how much he wanted the opportunity. Watching him play until he was knocked out (literally) of the game in the second quarter because of a concussion, it was clear that Favre's bruised and battered, 41-year-old body has left him incapable of protecting himself.

Favre has become the old fighter who gets knocked to the canvas and although his cornerman implores him to "stay down" he simply can't bring himself to do it. If the Vikings are responsible about this, they will make the decision for Favre today and placed him on injured reserve, ending a mostly brilliant 20-year career before a defensive lineman puts a hit on Favre that causes his exit in an amublance.

By the way, a massive NFL loophole also was exposed on Monday that MUST be closed as soon as possible. Until it was clarified for me, I did not know a player who was listed as "out" on the injury report could actually be upgraded and play in the game for which he was supposed to miss.

So what's the big deal you say? Like it or not, a big part of why team's must issue injury reports is because of the amount of gambling that is done on the NFL. Basically, the injury report is supposed to mean that insider information isn't being shared by a select few. Now we all know that coaches constantly play around with the injury report, but to actually have a guy who is listed as "out" end up playing on game day seems like a very slippery slope.

This is NOT to suggest the Vikings were in any way pulling a fast one on the league -- and Favre being Favre I don't think anybody could honestly say they were shocked by what happened -- but now that it's become obvious that "out" means "maybe out" on the injury report it's likely another team will attempt this stunt to get a competitive advantge.

And the more it happens, the more eyebrows are going to be raised in Las Vegas about what exactly is happening. That doesn't seem like a good idea for anyone. Thus, if a player is listed as "out" he should be out or otherwise put down as doubtful or questionable.



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