Favre's wife doing well

Brett Favre is returning to Green Bay for the 2005 season, Packers coach Mike Sherman told The Associated Press.

Sherman said Thursday he had a two-hour conversation with his quarterback on Wednesday night. Favre informed him his wife is doing well in her cancer treatment, so he's planning to play at
least one more season, maybe more if his own health holds up.

"It came down to his wife and she's doing well in her
recovery," Sherman said. "She wants him to play. He said he's
looking forward to playing -- hopefully without any off-the-field
situations and 'enjoying the journey."'

The three-time MVP said after the Packers' playoff loss to
Minnesota in January he wanted to reflect before committing to
playing a 15th NFL season following a year of personal tumult.

His wife, Deanna, was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, a
week after the death of her 24-year-old brother in an ATV accident
on the quarterback's property in Mississippi.

And Favre was still dealing with the stunning news of Reggie White's death on the day after Christmas, which came about a year after the death of Favre's father, Irv, from a heart attack.

"After the season, he just needed to think about some things,"
Sherman said. "Any man would have to contemplate his future when
his wife is fighting cancer. It's not like he had to work to make
money. He didn't want to be a part-time husband and a part-time
football player. It came down to his wife. If she's not healthy,
it's obviously a different ballgame. But now she's doing good. She
wants him to play."

It never was a question of diminished ability because even at
35, Favre is still near the top of his game.

He topped 4,000 yards passing last season and recorded his
eighth 30-touchdown season, twice as many as any other quarterback
in NFL history, and the Packers set franchise records for total
offense and net passing yards in 2004.

"He's always been excited about playing football," Sherman
said. "He's never lost his enthusiasm for the game. It's just his
family situation was pulling at him."

Next season won't necessarily be Favre's farewell, either.

"As long as he can play at a Brett Favre level, he will,"
Sherman said, "unless some situation off the field, outside of
football, affects him or his family."

Deanna Favre has completed her chemotherapy and is undergoing
radiation treatment.

The Favres are helping put on a Faith Hill concert back home
Saturday night to benefit breast cancer patients. Favre is
scheduled to appear at the Packers' inaugural fan fest that morning
in Green Bay.

After the Packers were upset 31-17 by the Vikings in the
wild-card round of the playoffs -- Green Bay's second playoff loss
at home in three years -- Favre said he needed some time to figure
out his future.

Last season, Favre extended his record of 225 consecutive starts
at quarterback, despite being on the injured report three times.
Since his first start on Sept. 27, 1992, 183 other quarterbacks
have made their NFL debut.

Because Favre hasn't spoken publicly about his plans, it wasn't known before Thursday whether the retooled coaching staff, the
stripping of Sherman's GM duties in favor of Ted Thompson or the
loss of starting guards Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle in free agency
would play a role in his decision.

Rivera signed with Dallas and Wahle with Carolina last week,
leaving two gaping holes in an offensive line that allowed a
franchise-low 14 sacks last season.

Sherman said the only thing Favre had to say about the loss of
the guards was they deserved the multimillion-dollar bonuses they

"I told him we'll get that fixed," Sherman said. "It never
was an issue. Brett said he was excited about what we did on
offense last year and he thinks we can do more this year.

"Obviously, his major thing is to win another Super Bowl and
he's excited about having that chance."