Tension Plan: Will Brett Favre Be Able to Put Up Good Numbers In 2010?
Well, Favre's Back.
After, statistically, one of his best years in football, its always been apparent that Favre had unfinished business following the NFC Championship loss to eventual Super Bowl Champions, the New Orleans Saints.
However, during the game, Favre sustained damage to his ankle, which swelled up the size of an orange and had a hefty Viking-purple bruise on the back of his right leg. Surgery was needed to fix the well documented ankle. That should have been enough to discourage any normal 40-year old quarterback. But, if you hadn't guessed already, Favre isn't normal. But this isn't the first of his worries.
Favre transformed Sidney Rice, a potentially good receiver who had issues with knee injuries, into a stellar Pro-Bowl wide receiver. However, he was paying a price for it.
Rice now needs surgery on his hip and will miss the start of the season. He reportedly injured the hip in the NFC Championship game, but decided against surgery, worried about the effects its could have on his play. Rice apparently had pain whilst performing cutting drills in practice. After an MRI scan, he decided to have the surgery.
Opting to not have the surgery could have forced Rice into an earlier retirement. With a history of persistent knee injury which already has reduced playing time, it was the wisest and safest option for the former South Carolina star.
Whether the injury will deter his Pro-Bowl abilities or lose that extra half a yard that is vital in the Vikings West Coast style offense is unknown.
What is known, however, is that Favre will be without the receiver for 'up to half the season'. If the recovery takes longer than originally estimated, there is a small chance he could be placed on Injured Reserve. During this spell, the Vikings face tough trips to four playoff teams from last year, the Saints, Jets, Patriots and, yes, the Green Bay Packers.
They also play the Cowboys at Mall of America Field in a repeat of last year's Divisional Playoff match, in which Rice caught six passes, three of which for touchdowns, for 141 yards.
With Percy Harvin still having ongoing tests regards the recent Migraine attacks, Favre is not left with many options in the passing game outside of Bernard Berrian and Visanthe Shiancoe.
Brad Childress and Co. quickly made moves to compensate for the loss of Rice by trading for Dolphins WR Greg Camarillo and picking up free agent Javon Walker, despite having a career plagued with knee injuries. Walker has previously worked with Favre at Green Bay in a similar style of offense, however the relationship soured over time and Walker's contract dispute.
After threatening to hold out after his Pro Bowl year in 2004, he tore his ACL in the first game of the 2005 season and he was put on IR, then traded to the Broncos the year after.
Despite the recent transactions, its hard to imagine that Favre will be able to produce numbers like those of last year, coming off ankle surgery with his main target injured, the speedy slot receiver bogged down with Migraines that could occur at anytime and prevent him from playing a game depending on when it strikes.
Walker has been out of football for over a year and clearly isn't the same player as he was in 2004. He was given an extremely large contract (six-year, $55 million) by the Oakland Raiders in 2008 as a free agent. However, after just two injury filled seasons, he was released.
Camarillo, who scored the overtime touchdown against the Ravens to give the Dolphins their first win of the season after thirteen losses, finished last year with a respectable 50 receptions in a run first offense. However, none of those receptions resulted in a touchdown.
Relying on Adrian Peterson and reverting back to the pre-Favre run first offense can only work for so long, with no Chester Taylor to enter the game on third down and take part of the work load.
A lengthy injury to A.P could effectively put an end to any hopes of the the NFC North title being brought to Minnesota with Green Bay hot on their heels.
Along with the NFC North title, hopes of a potential Wild Card playoff berth could vanish, with plenty of competition from other NFC teams for the two wild card spots.
And with a strike looming in 2011, you have to wonder whether Favre, who turns 41 this season, will have the option to come back. With, potentially, no season next year, could this season be the season that the gunslinger finally fizzles out?
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