- Associated Press - Monday, December 13, 2010

DETROIT | An unexpected postponement gave Brett Favre one more chance.

A little extra time for his right shoulder to heal, another day for him to show he was healthy enough to start.

So many times in the past, he had defied expectations and played on. This time, he was having trouble feeling his hand, which was an ugly shade of purple.

And with that, the streak was over.

“I’ve always assumed I’d play every game,” Favre said.

After 297 consecutive regular-season starts over 19 years, one of the greatest individual streaks in all of sports, Favre ran into an injury he couldn’t beat and sat down Monday night. The 41-year-old quarterback, who fought through broken bones, aches, pains and personal grief to play week after week, couldn’t make it for the Vikings in their 21-3 loss to the New York Giants.

Favre was sidelined by a throwing shoulder too damaged for even him to overcome and a hand too numb to take the field with.

“I’ve played through a lot of stuff,” Favre said. “This is something different that I’ve got to be more cautious of.”

The Vikings hoped Favre, who has started despite a broken foot and elbow tendinitis this season, could do it again when the game against the Giants was delayed from Sunday after the Metrodome roof collapsed. That forced the game to be moved to Ford Field, but it was not enough time for Favre to get healthy enough to play.

Minnesota interim coach Leslie Frazier said the plan was for Favre to go through a pregame throwing routine to try and determine if he could play, but the three-time MVP wasn’t on the field about 90 minutes before kickoff, and the Vikings announced moments later he was inactive.

Frazier said Favre wasn’t even able to try throwing Monday.

“He was having trouble with numbness down through his shoulder and into his hand,” Frazier said. “It was a no-brainer. We couldn’t put him out there. He couldn’t function as a quarterback.”

Favre finally came out about 35 minutes before the game started, wearing a T-shirt and warmup pants. He hugged a teammate while receiving a few cheers from the crowd, then stood at the 15-yard line and chatted with Tarvaris Jackson, the new Minnesota starter.

After Minnesota’s first drive, Favre looked at photo printouts with Jackson as the Vikings went over strategy. For the rest of the game, he remained near midfield, standing calmly much of the time while Minnesota’s offense sputtered without him.

“Relief, in one sense. There wasn’t a whole lot of pressure on me today,” Favre said in an emotional news conference after the game. “It’s been a long time. I’d much rather be playing, that’s just my nature. I don’t want to say it was time, but it’s probably been long overdue. There’s probably been a lot of times the streak should have ended.”

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