Football

Favre watch opens anew

The Minnesota Vikings’ season had barely ended late Sunday night when the first report surfaced that Brett Favre had said he was “highly unlikely” to come back for another year.

The ESPN report promises to be the first of many Favre-related nuggets that emerge in the coming weeks and perhaps months as the quarterback ponders whether to return for a 20th NFL season and second with the Vikings. The most important thing is to take every report with a grain of salt.

Favre, 40, retired following the 2007 season and again last February, only to change his mind on both occasions before missing one regular-season game. Even Favre’s teammates know now is not the time to make predictions.

“It’s still early,” wide receiver Bernard Berrian said Monday and heading into the offseason. “Way too early. Brett is liable to change his mind five, 10 times down the road.”

Williams joins undecided

Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams he’s “50-50” on whether he’ll return for the final year of his contract. At 37, Williams is the second-oldest player on the team behind Favre.

The three-time Pro Bowl pick said he feels fine physically, but is mentally “drained” after a devastating end to his 13th NFL season. The Vikings lost to the New Orleans Saints in overtime on Sunday, 31-28.

Extra points

Tom Brady said Monday he won’t need surgery for rib and finger injuries that bothered him for much of the season. The New England Patriots quarterback described his ailments as “just bumps and bruises” that all players deal with. … Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney sprained his right ankle late in the AFC Championship Game but is expected to play in the Super Bowl. … New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said the contracts of assistant quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, assistant defensive backs coach Doug Plank, special teams assistant Kevin O’Dea, pass rush specialist Chuck Smith and defensive quality control coach Brian Smith would not be extended. … Kennedy Pola, running backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars for the past five seasons, has been named to the same post with the Tennessee Titans. … Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is going to his third Pro Bowl, while Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins will go for the first time. The Cowboys said Romo and Jenkins had been added to the NFC roster as injury replacements. Other players added to the NFC roster include quarterback Donovan McNabb and strong safety Quintin Mikell of the Eagles; guard Chris Snee and offfensive tackle David Diehl of the Giants; and Redskins linebacker London Fletcher. Added to the AFC roster are Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis and Jaguars quarterback David Garrard.

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