FavreWatch: The clock starts today

Other than the Text Message Saga, I think I've done a decent job of curbing the daily FavreWatch this summer. Hope you've enjoyed it, because I think we need to take it up a notch.

In my book, FavreWatch always was scheduled to start today. We all knew there was no chance quarterback Brett Favre would join the Minnesota Vikings during their training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato. As we've been discussing for months, the earliest he might arrive is when the Vikings resume practice at their permanent Twin Cities facility. That workout is scheduled for Monday at about 1 p.m. ET.

There is no evidence that Favre will be on the field for that practice, but now the clock is ticking. Remember, Favre arrived last year on Aug. 18 -- the second day of practice after the Vikings broke training camp. He started and played two series in a preseason game three days later, and then saw more extensive preseason work the following week. In all, Favre spent 26 days with the Vikings before they opened their season Sept. 13 at Cleveland.

I honestly don't know how Favre will choreograph his presumed arrival this year. He was scheduled to have his surgically repaired ankle examined last week by Dr. James Andrews, and if he got any unexpected news, it has yet to leak out. Internally, the Vikings believe Favre's ankle is a minor issue. They're simply waiting for him to say, "yes," and I can tell you for a fact there are some nervous Nellies in the organization at this moment.

Assuming he does return, I'm guessing Favre needs less preparation time than last summer after spending an entire year in the Vikings' offense. So does that rule out an arrival this week? Could he jet in next week, participate in the Aug. 28 preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, and declare himself ready for the season? Or is he comfortable skipping the preseason altogether?

Even if he reports today, Favre will get less practice time because of the Vikings' early open to the regular season, Sept. 9 at the New Orleans Saints. That game is 25 days away.

Let the guessing and games begin. Now, it's for real.