- Associated Press - Monday, December 20, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Brett Favre found the perfect setting to make a surprising return to the field _ on Monday night, in the snow.

Favre was upgraded from “out” to “questionable” on Monday morning, then tested his sprained throwing shoulder about two hours before kickoff and was named the starter against the Chicago Bears. But he won’t have his star running back behind him. Adrian Peterson was inactive because of thigh and ankle injuries.

The 41-year-old Minnesota Vikings quarterback had his NFL record straight starts streak end at 297 games last week against the Giants. The team ruled him out on Saturday, saying he was unable to throw the football because of pain in his shoulder and still had numbness in his throwing hand.

But Favre woke up on Monday morning and told the team he wanted to give it a try. The Vikings notified the NFL and the Bears of his status change and Favre threw about 15 passes in a pregame warmup before being cleared to play.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said there is nothing in the rules that prevents from the Vikings, or any other team, from changing a player’s injury report designation.

“If a player’s medical status changes during the course of the week, the club must update his playing status accordingly prior to the game,” Aiello said. “That is what the Vikings did when Brett’s status changed today.”

Speaking before the game, Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We don’t allow people to play games with the injury list. They have to be legitimate medical injuries.”

Favre has not thrown a pass in two weeks, ever since he was blindsided by Bills linebacker Arthur Moats and drilled into the turf on Dec. 5.

Favre watched practice again all week leading up to the game against the Bears and was declared out, rather than doubtful, on Saturday. Rookie Joe Webb was expected to get the start, and the team signed veteran Patrick Ramsey as an insurance policy after placing No. 2 backup Tarvaris Jackson on injured reserve.

But you can never count Favre out, especially for the high-profile Monday night games. He’s had some of his greatest performances on the NFL’s biggest regular season stage, none more notable than when he threw for 399 yards and four TDs in a Monday night win at Oakland _ the day after his father died of a heart attack.

Brett Favre attempted to throw the football two days ago and was unable to, due to pain in the SC joint and residual numbness from a brachial plexus injury,” Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said Monday in a statement issued by the team. “He declared himself out at that time. He woke up this morning feeling much improved. His symptoms and function have improved dramatically over the past 24 hours.

“In fairness to him and his team, he would like to be given the opportunity to play tonight if physically able.”

The Vikings and Bears are playing at the University of Minnesota’s outdoor stadium because the Metrodome’s roof collapsed last weekend after a heavy snowstorm. The roof’s failure caused the Vikings-Giants game to be moved to Detroit, but the university was able to get its two-year-old stadium ready to host the Bears.

Snow started steadily falling in the Twin Cities on Monday afternoon and forecasts called for the wind-chill temperature to be well below zero by game time, conditions that Favre got to know well during 16 years with the Green Bay Packers.

He went 43-6 while with the Packers when the temperature was 34 degrees or colder, but his mythical status as a cold-weather warrior has been tarnished later in his career, especially when he threw an interception in overtime that led to a Packers loss to the New York Giants in the NFC title game after the 2007 season.

According to STATS, LLC, Favre has played 61 career games with the temperature at 40 degress or colder. He has completed 61 percent of his passes with 98 touchdowns, 64 interceptions and an 85.1 rating.

But in the 16 games under those conditions since 2005, he has completed 57.7 percent of his passes with 11 TDs, 26 interceptions and a 64.1 rating.

His 20th NFL season has been one of his toughest. In addition to the streak ending, Favre started the day with 18 interceptions, which is tied for third most in the league, and his 69.6 quarterback rating was good for 30th.

He is also the subject of an NFL investigation into allegations that he sent inappropriate text messages and photos to a game-day hostess when both worked for the New York Jets in 2008. Goodell said he is still evaluating the findings and hoped to make a decision before the end of the regular season.

It was not known if he spoke with Favre.

“I’m still following up on some of the information, making sure that we’ve been thorough,” Goodell said. “We want to be as thorough and serious about it and reach the right conclusion.”



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