Last week, the league office conveniently announced that a total of $125,000 in fines had been imposed on the Jets for failing to disclose the fact that quarterback Brett Favre had a partially torn biceps tendon in the late stages of the 2008 season after Favre’s weekly Wednesday press availability had ended.
So he wasn’t asked about it last Wednesday, and he wasn’t asked about it after Sunday’s 27-13 win at Detroit.
But Favre finally was asked about the situation today.
“I think it’s very unfair. I just think it’s wrong,” Favre said. “They did everything that I felt like they were supposed to. I practiced like half a day on the Wednesday after we knew that I had a torn biceps. The only reason I brought that up was I wanted to address to them that I felt like maybe there were some throws, or I could have played better and because of this injury. . . . I just wanted to let them know that. I never asked them to put me on the injury report.”
There are a couple of problems with his logic. First, if Favre practiced “like half a day” on the Wednesday after they knew of the injury, he should have been listed on the injury report as being a limited participant in practice for that day. But he wasn’t.
Second, it’s not up to the player to ask to be put on the injury report. Rarely if ever would a player want to have an injured area of his body highlighted for the opposing defense’s benefit.
Sure, some players might appreciate having a known excuse for poor play. But when the player can cite the injury ad nauseum after the fact (as Favre did in this case), there’s no need to mention the injury on the injury report in order to later use the injury as a crutch. (This year, however, Favre has opted to pre-excuse potential poor play, citing in advance of the season injuries like a partially torn rotator cuff, cracked ribs, and sore ankles.)
In making his case for the unfairness of the fine imposed on the Jets, Favre also might have pulled his other former team, the Packers, into the crosshairs of the league office.
“I can’t tell you how many times I probably should have been on the injury report and was not,” Favre said.
Favre also said that, before the fines were announced, he apologized to Jets G.M. Mike Tannenbaum and former Jets coach Eric Mangini for getting them in trouble.
“I’ve talked with Mike and just spoke briefly with Eric when we played those guys but [the fine] hadn’t come out yet. Just expressed that I was sorry that it led to that. It meant nothing. But I think it was unfair the way they were treated.”
In a roundabout way, Favre has a point. When it comes to cheating on the injury report, plenty of teams do it. The problem here is that, in his endless quest to explain away last year’s collapse down the stretch by pointing to an injury that otherwise had been hidden, Favre said too much about the fact that he was injured, and that forced the league to take action.