Football

Favre's return brief, unspectacular and painful

Being back on the field again meant plenty to Brett Favre, no matter if it was only for a few minutes.

No matter that he completed one pass and also got clobbered on a sack that lost Minnesota 10 yards.

Favre’s highly anticipated first game back with the Vikings lasted all of four unspectacular plays and one series in a 15-10 loss to the 49ers in a nationally televised exhibition game Sunday at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, the only NFL show of the night.

“I didn’t fumble a snap, completed a pass,” Favre said. “That’s a win for me.”

Favre completed a 13-yard pass to Adrian Peterson on his first play from scrimmage but was sacked by Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis two plays later and the Vikings wound up punting. The 40-year-old quarterback took the field just four days after his first training camp practice of the year. He decided to return for a 20th season and make yet another run at a Super Bowl title.

“There’s no substitute for getting in a game, calling plays, having a 40-second clock that you have to pay attention to,” said Favre, admittedly a little stiff afterward. “They blitzed on the last play. We technically could have picked it up, I could have made a call, but the mind wasn’t working quick enough. … That was obviously not a positive play but it’s what you do with it from here on. I’ll look at the film. I would hate for that to happen the first game in real action against New Orleans.”

It’s hard to make much of the small sampling. Not that Favre’s numbers mattered to the Vikings, who were just thrilled to have him back.

Alex Smith, Favre’s 49ers counterpart, went 9-of-13 passing for 88 yards in a solid first half. Willis had four tackles playing only nine snaps.

After that single series, Favre headed to the bench and gave way to backup Tarvaris Jackson – who had been in line to be the starter before Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson flew to Mississippi early last week to recruit Favre back to the Twin Cities. Favre, sporting a 5-o’clock shadow peppered with gray, could be seen laughing on the sideline in the second half.

SOAP OPERA, D.C.

Albert Haynesworth’s ongoing tiff with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has reached multi-syllabic proportions, as team sources say the defensive lineman was sidelined last week with a mild case of rhabdomyolysis, a condition marked by the breakdown of skeletal muscle and the release of myoglobin in the bloodstream.

Haynesworth accused Shanahan of mischaracterizing his ailment as a mere headache, and three sources said Sunday that the team believes Haynesworth’s symptoms were brought about by rhabdomyolysis, which caused Haynesworth to miss nearly three full days of practice last week.

Medical experts say that Haynesworth’s ability to play in Saturday’s game likely means he’s recovered from the condition, often caused by muscle trauma or dehydration. They also warn, though, that the fact that Haynesworth was suffering from rhabdomyolysis might also indicate that he wasn’t in proper shape to practice in the summer heat.

“It doesn’t happen as often in well-conditioned athletes, but if there’s really extreme circumstances – like extremely hot weather – then that could happen when you have large amounts of muscle breakdown,” said Lynne Yao, chairman-elect of the National Kidney Foundation’s board of directors.

EXTRA POINTS

The Buffalo Bills placed two rookie draft picks on the season-ending injured reserve list, and could be down to one healthy tight end after Michael Matthews limped off the field during practice. Receiver Marcus Easley and linebacker Danny Batten have been placed on I.R. Easley, a fourth-round pick out of Connecticut, is recovering since having surgery to repair a left knee injury he sustained Aug. 2. Batten, a sixth-round pick out of South Dakota State, has been out since hurting his right shoulder in practice on Aug. 1. … Minnesota Vikings receiver and punt returner Jaymar Johnson has been placed on season-ending injured reserve with a broken left thumb. … The Cincinnati Bengals have added safety Marvin White, signing the former fourth-round pick two days after Gibril Wilson was injured. … Former Missouri wide receiver Danario Alexander has signed a free-agent contract with the St. Louis Rams. Alexander, a 6-foot-5, 221-pounder, wasn’t drafted after injuring his knee before the Senior Bowl.

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