Rockford Register Star writers Reed Schreck and Matt Trowbridge wrote countering viewpoints on whether the Packers should rest injured Brett Favre until he fully heals.
Here, Trowbridge writes in favor of resting the quarterback.
Now is the time for two good men to come to the aid of their team.
It’s common sense: Mike McCarthy and a battered Brett Favre should agree to have Favre sit next week.
Yes, that would end all hope Favre has of ever setting the NFL record for consecutive games played (Jim Marshall leads with 282, Favre is second with 249). Who cares? The point is to win, not to break a formerly obscure record, or continue a made up one.
Jim Marshall isn’t exactly Lou Gehrig, and making Favre’s streak “a record for quarterbacks” was a loophole invented for him. No one says Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive games is still a record for first basemen after Cal Ripken passed him. Besides, Peyton Manning (155 in a row and counting) may catch Favre some day, anyway.
Favre should sit and let his separated left shoulder and injured right elbow heal for three reasons:
- The Packers (10-2) have nearly clinched the NFC North title and lead the chase for the second first-round bye in the NFC by 2 1/2 games with four to play.
- Green Bay should easily beat Oakland (3-8) without Favre next week.
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay’s first-round pick three years ago, looked unexpectedly great in his first extended action. While Favre was horrid Thursday, Rodgers completed 18 of 26 passes for 201 yards and moved around in the pocket and scrambled for first downs as if he were Dallas sensation Tony Romo. It’s in the Packers’ best interests to find out Rodgers’ true worth, either to plan their future around him or increase his value as trade bait.
If Green Bay’s season is already secure, and it is, and Rodgers remains the No. 1 mystery the Packers would like to solve, the only reason to play an injured Favre is to assuage his ego.
Yes, Favre can play injured, and play well at that. “It’s one of those things you can shoot up and play with,” Favre told reporters in Dallas.
But why “shoot up” an aging, injured quarterback to play Oakland in December when you need your future Hall of Famer most against Dallas, Seattle and Tampa Bay in January? When you’ve got a former No. 1 draft pick waiting in the wings, there is no need to play Favre until he can play without pain killers.
If Favre doesn’t give his body time to heal, he risks these Packers having the same problems as Jim McMahon’s Bears. The Bears averaged more than 11 wins from 1984-91, but won only one Super Bowl in those eight years, mostly because McMahon seldom was healthy for the playoffs.
The Packers fired Mike Sherman two years ago after his first nonwinning year in six seasons. Sherman deserved it for treating Favre as a legend, not a quarterback. He let Favre do whatever he wanted, from flinging wild passes downfield to playing the 2003 season with a broken thumb.
New coach Mike McCarthy widely has been praised for harnessing Favre in his two seasons. Favre displayed more patience and control. Those wild flings had, for the most part, disappeared. Well, now comes McCarthy’s toughest Favre test: making him sit.
For the good of the team.
Assistant Sports Editor Matt Trowbridge can be reached at 815-987-1383 or email@example.com.