Jared Allen, one of three Vikings players who flew to Mississippi to talk Brett Favre out of retirement before the 2010 season, joked that he is prepared to take to the skies again if need be.
“If he comes back, I’m going to fly down there and tell him to stay retired,” Allen said before looking into a nearby TV camera, adding, “Brett, if you’re listening, stay retired, man. He can’t come back again.”
Favre apparently feels the same way.
Speaking to SportsTalk 570 in Washington, D.C., the former Packers and Vikings — and Falcons and Jets — quarterback confirmed an ESPN report that the Rams reached out to Favre through his agent, Bus Cook, about coming back to replace Sam Bradford, who is out for the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament Sunday. Favre, however, nipped the latest Favreapolooza media fest in its infant stages by reminding people that he’s a 44-year-old grandfather who isn’t fond of being sacked.
“It’s flattering,” Favre said, adding “there’s no way” he would stage a comeback.
Allen said he thinks Favre could pull it off if he wanted to.
“I saw him this offseason,” Allen said. “Dude’s in good shape. He could probably come back and still sling a few.”
Favre announced his retirement after the 2007 season but came back. He played for the Jets in 2008, stepped away from the NFL and came back again. He led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game during the 2009 season and was stepping away from the game once again.
But Allen and Vikings teammates Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson were sent during the following year’s training camp to talk Favre into coming back, which he did. But the magic stayed in Mississippi as Favre’s 20-year career ended with 11 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions in 13 starts during the Vikings’ 6-10 season.
The Rams signed veteran Brady Quinn and Austin Davis — like Favre a Southern Miss product — to replace Bradford.
Favre sounded determined to stay retired, saying other teams besides the Rams have contacted him.
“The last year I played was an obvious, writing-on-the-wall vision for you,” he said. “It was time.”
Another week, another round of interviews in which offensive players shift their support to different starting quarterback. Thursday, players were asked if it’s beneficial to be going back to Christian Ponder, who hasn’t played since turning the ball over seven times during an 0-3 start. Ponder will start Sunday against the Packers because last week’s starter, Josh Freeman, is recovering from a concussion.
“Yeah, you can say that,” Adrian Peterson said. “Just taking [Monday’s loss to the Giants], it’s obvious with a new quarterback coming in, with Freeman, that he’s not going to be able to know the full playbook. So having Christian in there, who knows it, we’re going to be able to pull more out of the offense. That’s going to be able to help us out.”
Walsh still limited
Blair Walsh, who missed the first 50-plus-yard field goal of his career Monday, was limited in practice again because of a left hamstring injury that has bothered him the past two weeks.
Not practicing Thursday were running back Matt Asiata (shoulder), tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle), Freeman and receiver Rodney Smith (hip). Thursday, Freeman passed the cognitive exam that is the first step in the NFL-mandated protocol for concussed players to play. Friday, he will have to pass an exertion test and wait to see if any concussion-like symptoms return.
If he does that early enough, Frazier said there’s a chance Freeman will practice Friday. But Frazier indicated that missing two practices on a short week means Freeman will be the No. 3 quarterback Sunday night against the Packers.