- The Washington Times - Monday, August 4, 2008

The Green Bay Packers reluctantly embraced quarterback Brett Favre’s forced return to the football field Sunday after failing to come to a financial agreement that would manage to make Favre happy while staying retired.

The NFL announced Sunday that Favre will be reinstated and added to the Packers’ active roster Monday. Commissioner Roger Goodell had held off on granting Favre’s request for reinstatement for nearly a week, hoping Favre and the team could resolve their standoff.

“Although we built this year around the assumption that Brett meant what he said about retiring, Brett is coming back,” team president and CEO Mark Murphy said. “We will welcome him back and turn this situation to our advantage.”

A private plane carrying Favre, wife Deanna and agent James “Bus” Cook arrived in Green Bay shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday night. Favre exited the plane and waved to a crowd of several hundred fans gathered at the airport - in a severe lightning storm, no less - before driving off in an SUV.

The reinstatement will become effective at 1 p.m. Monday, when Favre will be added to the Packers’ active roster. By reinstating Favre, Goodell is following through on a recent promise to force action.

Earlier this week, the team offered Favre a long-term, multimillion-dollar marketing agreement that likely would have kept him retired. But Favre’s decision to report to camp makes such an agreement less likely.

A trade remains a possibility.

“Frankly, Brett’s change of mind put us in a very difficult spot,” Murphy said in a statement released by the team. “We now will revise many actions and assumptions about our long-term future, all predicated on Brett’s decision last March to retire.

“As a result of his decision, we invested considerably in a new and different future without Brett, and we were obviously moving in that direction. That’s why this wasn’t easy. Having crossed the Rubicon once when Brett decided to retire, it’s very difficult to reorient our plans and cross it again in the opposite direction - but we’ll put this to our advantage.”

RAVENS: Running back Willis McGahee might miss Thursday’s preseason opener against the Patriots because of an ailing left knee.

“Right now, we need to get the fluid out of his knee and get that thing settled down a little bit,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

Rookie Ray Rice could get the start because of the injury to McGahee.

Tight end Todd Heap also missed practice with a right calf injury, which is not believed to be serious.

“I think his is more of a fatigue thing,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got some kind of a tweak in there, but he’s fine.”

Wide receiver Mark Clayton (shoulder) and running back Cory Ross (toe) returned to practice.

COWBOYS: Terrell Owens took it easy at training camp, getting a day off from practice along with tight end Jason Witten and linebacker Zach Thomas.

All three players were on the field but were in shorts and only spectators for the lone workout of the day. It was the Cowboys’ 10th consecutive day of practices since opening camp.

Since the team isn’t scheduled to be off until next Sunday, the day after their preseason opener, coach Wade Phillips had indicated he might start periodically giving some veteran players time off.

“Don’t tell Terrell, but we will do that with him some day and other guys,” Phillips had said Saturday without indicating when they would do that.

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