Why Not Try? Two Injured Stars Take the Field


When the Jets returned to practice this afternoon, both their offensive star and their defensive nucleus were on the field with their teammates.

Quarterback Brett Favre, sporting a red jersey and green mesh shorts, had his left ankle wrapped and he moved gingerly in the brief period the media was allowed to watch.

"I'm doing everything I can to get ready," Favre told reporters this morning. "How it will affect me during the course of the week or Sunday remains to be seen."

Favre, who's started an NFL-quarterback-record 256 consecutive games, is not concerned about his ironman streak.

"My philosophy has always been if you feel like you can play and not hinder the team one bit, then try at least," he said. "Why not try? I think I owe that to not only my teammates but to myself. That's the way I've always looked at it."

Expected to be somewhat limited in practice, Favre isn't worried about losing physical reps. He said he'd attempt to do "some things" today and placed an emphasis on his mental preparation heading into this weekend's matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

"I love to play. I didn't come here, first of all, to lose. I didn't come in here to get hurt and sit and watch. That's why I played every game," he said. "I could have sat out numerous games and no one would ever have questioned the fact that I was hurt, but I wouldn't let it get that far."

Favre, whose 70.0 percent passing accuracy ranks second in the league, will push the remarkable streak to 257 this weekend.

"I feel like I can give this team a very good chance to win," he said. "Until I'm told otherwise, I'm going to do it."

While Kris Jenkins started against the Chargers, the 6'4", 349-pound nose tackle was done after one quarter of action. Jets head coach Eric Mangini said he was close to returning, but the mammoth run stuffer was held out.

"I am taking it day by day, doing the best I can," said Jenkins who did not participate in team drills in the non-pads session.   "Obviously, I am not on IR so it's a plus. I am working on it day by day and doing what I can to get back on the field with my teammates."

With Carolina, Jenkins, 29, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in 2004 and tore an ACL in the '05 opener. But since 2006, the eight-year vet has appeared in 35 consecutive games.

"I can't go into it, but I can say it's not something that was a first-time occurrence," he said of his back problem. "It is something that I have dealt with before in the past. It's something I have to work through, and I know how to get through it."

Before the Jets complete the season's first quarter, they'll tango with the Cards. At 1-2, Favre says each member of the team must believe they can't be beat.

"Once this team starts believing — all 53 guys start believing that it can be done — then it will be," he said.

A pair of losses over the Jets' first three games has not made Favre question his decision to press pause on retirement.

"There's no doubt from my end. I'll continue to do what I've done from day one, from the day I first stepped onto a field. If that's not good enough, then it's not good enough," he said. "It's been good enough up to this point. I've won way more games than I've lost and I don't anticipate that changing."

Favre isn't using the newness of the offense as an excuse for the unit's lack of productivity at times. In fact, he said, "We have to at some point write that off."

The Green & White moved the ball effectively against the Chargers when they went to an empty backfield in the second half with Favre operating out of the shotgun. The Jets actually walked through that package at their La Jolla hotel Sunday.

"Do we want to go 60 snaps in a game of empty? Who knows? We have the guys to do it," Favre said. "But I think we also have a very effective running game. How we mix the two I think is going to be crucial because I think we saw something that we can do."

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