Dave Campbell / AP Sports Writer, Published December 06 2010
Jackson steps in as Vikings prevail: Favre knocked out of game with injury to throwing shoulder
The NFL’s all-time iron man sprained his throwing shoulder severely enough Sunday that he didn’t even try to talk his way back into the game. Still, at age 41 with Minnesota essentially out of playoff contention, Favre wasn’t ready to declare himself done for good.
The Vikings, with new life under interim coach Leslie Frazier, haven’t conceded yet either.
Tarvaris Jackson threw two touchdowns to Sidney Rice in relief after Favre was hurt on the first series, Adrian Peterson rushed for three touchdowns on a sprained ankle and the Vikings rolled over the Buffalo Bills 38-14.
“Can you be effective if you play?” was the question Favre said he’ll ask himself next week. “If the answer is yes, if I think I can, I would love to play and see this through.”
Without All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson (thumb) or standout wide receiver Percy Harvin (illness), the Vikings
(5-7) outgained the Bills 387-239 and turned Frazier’s first home game since replacing the fired Brad Childress into a fun time under the roof on a frigid afternoon outside.
Jackson threw three interceptions but after Drayton Florence returned the first one for a touchdown, he led the Vikings to touchdowns on their next four possessions for a 28-7 lead to put the game away before halftime. Jackson finished 15 for 22 for 187 yards, plus two runs for 22 yards.
So what’s the story for next Sunday’s game against the playoff-chasing New York Giants?
“No quarterback controversy,” Frazier said.
Favre was diagnosed with a sprained sternoclavicular joint in his throwing shoulder. The SC joint is located where the collarbone meets the breastbone. An X-ray showed no broken bones and he is scheduled to have an MRI today. If Favre is healthy, he’ll make his NFL-record 298th straight start.
“Hopefully that’ll be the case, but we’ll wait and see what happens,” Frazier said.
Since Frazier, who interviewed for the Bills coaching position last winter that went to Chan Gailey, was promoted from defensive coordinator the Vikings defense has given up only two touchdowns and 455 total yards over two games.
Peterson, who was listed as questionable this week and looked a little gimpy during pregame warmups, pounded the league’s most porous run defense for 107 yards on 16 carries, including a 43-yard scamper for a score.
Frazier said the decision on whether to play the All-Pro was “real close,” but Jackson just laughed – saying “he’s not human, man” – when asked how his teammate was able to heal so quickly after getting hurt last week.
“I was brainwashing myself the whole week, putting it in my mind that, ‘I’m going to play, I’m going to play, I’m going to play,” Peterson said.
Favre might have to use a similar technique to get himself ready.
“I’m not overly concerned right now. I’m just going to see what the MRI says,” he said.
Although the Bills (2-10) have been vastly improved over the last month or so, they reverted to early-season form and suffered another blowout. They turned the ball over five times and had three personal foul penalties.
“Obviously I didn’t do a good job of preparing our football team for what they were getting into coming in here,” Gailey said.