Vikings coach Brad Childress said today that “as far as I know [Brett Favre] is still retired,” but declined to completely close the door on the quarterback coming out of retirement to play for the Vikings. Childress acknowledged he has spoken with Favre on the phone — “Just like I did last year, three months ago,” Childress said — but added the two have not talked in several weeks.
“He’s retired, so it’s not relevant and it’s not any of my focus right now,” Childress said following the Vikings’ third day or organized team activities. ” … I’m really focused on the guys that are here on this football team, both old and young. But I’m not spending any time on [Favre].”
Childress did make it clear the Vikings have looked into the situation, a fact that team President Mark Wilf confirmed more than a week ago. “You’re always interested in investigating,” Childress said. ”I’ll stand by what I said last time we met [meaning Childress and the media]. That you discuss it, you’re interested in going through the process. And are you interested in a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback? You’re always interested in going through the process and discussing it and investigating it.”
Much as Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, has done Childress’ answers reflected the fact that Favre has retired from the NFL — for now. Of course, that could change. Childress would not discuss if there is any point at which it will be too late for Favre to decide he is going to return to the NFL.
Asked why he didn’t simply close the door on Favre situation — if it is indeed dead — Childress said: “Because I think you take every situation as it comes along. For me to stand here and say something is going to happen I don’t know. I just don’t know. It’s all hypothetical and I just think we’ve got to the point where we hypothetically ask a question that we have to have an answer to. … So the question becomes the story and you can write volumes on it one side or the other. Again, it’s not something that I’m entertaining and I’m more focused on the guys that are part of this football team. Old and young in the building or out on the grass. That’s what I put all my energy into right now.”
Childress also would not comment on an ESPN report that the Vikings had received Favre’s medical records and were reviewing them. That’s an important fact because of concerns about the partially torn biceps tendon in Favre’s throwing shoulder. That could be the biggest factor in whether Favre returns and recent reports have been that Favre does not want to undergo surgery to complete the tear and let the healing begin. The biceps also could tear by itself and Favre reportedly has been doing exercises to try to make that happen after meeting with Dr. James Andrews last week.
Meanwhile, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels split reps during Thursday’s OTA practice at Winter Park. Rosenfels was acquired from Houston in February for a fourth-round draft pick and is expected to compete with Jackson for the starting job. That, of course, is working under the assumption that Favre doesn’t sign this summer.
“There’s only so many things I can control in life,” Rosenfels said. “I can’t control that. All I can really control is my work in the weight room and my work out here in the meetings. Trying to get used to this offense. All the other stuff really just goes off my shoulders and there’s not anything I can do about it.”
Rosenfels and Jackson both said they have not been kept up to date on the Favre situation but neither seemed especially bothered by that fact.
“It’s the second year having to through this [Favre speculation] and you can’t really blame them,” Jackson said. “He’s a great player and he’s a future Hall of Famer and with the team we have and the guys we have around us, why not? But I feel I can get the job done with trying to get better each day and that’s my job right now. I’m not really focused on the what ifs or whatever. If it happens it happens and until it happens I’m still coming out here to get better. And when it happens I’m going to do the same.”