Sports

Our national nightmare ends: Favre reports to camp

Brett Favre is back in Minnesota, right on schedule.

For the second year in a row, the quarterback who spends his summers on the verge of retirement was driven to Vikings headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., on the Tuesday following the team’s first exhibition game.

Just like last August, news helicopters followed his vehicle from a local airport and dozens of fans and media gathered to greet him.

“Circus in Winter Park,” tight end Visanthe Shiancoe tweeted.

Nothing the Vikings haven’t seen before.

On Aug. 18, 2009, Favre boarded a private plane from Hattiesburg, Miss., and arrived in Minnesota. Coach Brad Childress picked him up and brought him to the team facility. He practiced the same day and suited up for an exhibition three days later.

This time, the Vikings sent three of Favre’s closest friends on the team — defensive tackle Jared Allen, kicker Ryan Longwell and offensive guard Steve Hutchinson — to Hattiesburg to bring him back.

“Brett Favre for President!!” receiver Bernard Berrian tweeted.

Favre’s website posted a message saying “stay tuned for breaking news from the Minnesota Vikings today on Brett Favre’s possible return.”

The team issued no formal confirmation. Favre is in the second year of a two-year, $25 million contract.

STUDY TIES ALS TO HEAD INJURIES

Scientists funded in part by the NFL say they have found evidence connecting head injuries in athletes to a condition that mimics Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Dr. Ann McKee said she found toxic proteins in the spinal cords of three athletes who had suffered head injuries and were later diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS.

BILL LOSE ROOKIE

Buffalo Bills rookie receiver David Nelson is out indefinitely after being carted off the field with a right leg injury during practice.

Without providing any specifics of the injury, coach Chan Gailey said, “it doesn’t look good.”

MANNING ON MEND

A bloodied Eli Manning was in some discomfort a day after receiving 12 stitches for a head wound. But Manning’s status for the New York Giants’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday is uncertain.

The Giants said Manning showed no signs of a concussion after suffering a three-inch gash to his head against the Jets on Monday night.

SAINTS SNAG BETTS

New Orleans moved to strengthen its running back depth by signing former Redskins back Ladell Betts to a one-year contract.

He joins Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas after third-string back Lynell Hamilton suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice last week.Betts is not expected to play in an exhibition against Houston on Saturday.

EXTRA POINTS

Frank Gore gave his OK for San Francisco to add free agent running back Brian Westbrook to its backfield this week. … Cleveland punter Dave Zastudil is out for the season because of a right knee injury. … Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga was fined two game checks for a DUI violation. … Tennessee waived injured rookie running back Stafon Johnson, the ex-USC standout whose college career was ended by a weightlifting accident that crushed his neck. He dislocated his ankle Saturday against Seattle.

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