Packers expect Favre to start vs. Raiders, keep streak alive

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre is expected to start against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 9 and keep alive his record streak for consecutive starts.

"Just to quote the medical staff, his [starting] streak is not in danger. He'll be OK," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday, the day after Favre was knocked out of the Packers' 37-27 loss at Dallas with elbow and shoulder injuries.

His streak, which dates to 1992, stands at 249 games (269 including playoffs) and is a league record for quarterbacks.

The 38-year-old Favre was at Lambeau Field on Friday for
treatment of a bruised right elbow. He also aggravated a left
shoulder separation, which he first injured 15 years ago, on a hit
by blitzing Dallas cornerback Nate Jones in the second quarter.

McCarthy said the medical staff didn't indicate that Favre had
nerve damage in his throwing elbow, which had been feared after the

"It has more to do with the belly of the muscle around the
elbow. It's not as severe as last year," McCarthy said.

Favre damaged a nerve in the same elbow against New England in
November 2006 and didn't finish the game.

After the game Thursday night he said the elbow was slightly
more swollen than the previous time, but in a somewhat different

"It kind of got the nerve, but not as direct as it was last
time, so I think it'll be fine," he said.

He also lost feeling in the last two fingers of his right hand
following the blindside hit from Jones, who was unblocked on his
blitz from the left side. Favre's elbow struck Jones' helmet as he
released the football, resulting in an interception.

"Clearly, that was my fault," Favre said. "There ain't too
many times in my career I can say that a guy came free and I didn't
see him coming. Unfortunately, that was one of the times."

Favre had started to regain feeling in the hand Friday, said
McCarthy, who wasn't concerned about the shoulder injury.

"I don't think it's an issue at all. That's the actual lesser
of the two [injuries]," McCarthy said.

Favre had a first-degree separation of the left shoulder Nov.
15, 1992, against Philadelphia. He was able to finish what was the
seventh start of his streak and rallied the Packers to a 27-24 win.

McCarthy is optimistic the extended break between games will
allow the league's only three-time MVP ample time to heal.

"Anytime you have a player go down in the game and you receive
the news this morning that he'll be able to play in 10 days, that's
a big sense of relief, especially when it's your quarterback,"
McCarthy said.

During his 16-year tenure in Green Bay, Favre hasn't finished
seven games in the starting streak because of injury. He's always
come back to play the next game.

Favre's more notable hasty recoveries include overcoming a
bruised hip in 1994, a badly sprained ankle in 1995, a sprained
right thumb in 1999, a sprained knee in 2002, a broken right thumb
in 2003, and a concussion and a sprained right hand three weeks
apart in 2004.

"He's a gamer. He's got the streak alive," Packers backup
quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after the game Thursday. "So, you
just get used to not taking any reps in practice and still
preparing to play but knowing you're probably not going to get

The Packers have only two quarterbacks, with receiver Ruvell
Martin the emergency backup.

McCarthy said Favre would have re-entered the game Thursday had
something happened to Rodgers, who played well in relief the last
two-plus quarters.

Rodgers directed two touchdown drives to rally the Packers from
a 27-10 deficit to get within 27-24 in the third quarter.

After holding out injured defensive standouts Charles Woodson
and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila to preserve them for the stretch run of
the season, McCarthy hasn't ruled out giving Favre a game off
against Oakland.

"That's something that we could talk about," McCarthy said.
"But, we're less than 24 hours away from the actual injury. So,
being on the long week, that's something we can talk about Tuesday
or Wednesday."

Even Favre admitted Thursday night he can envision a game he
doesn't start.

"Sure, I could. I hope this is not one of those times," he
said. "I couldn't go back in the game (Thursday). Believe me, I
wanted to. But, we have four days before we start back into a
normal week. I anticipate being fine; I hope I am."