If you're like me, you'd see Pro Football Talk's headline, "Partial tear in Favre's cuff likely to worsen," and you'd get worried. It's an aspect of the Favre storyline that's gone under the radar: Dr. James Andrews, while operating on Favre's arm in the spring, found a small tear in the quarterback's rotator cuff. Tom Curran spoke with a doctor about the injury and was told something that could make Vikings fans concerned about Favre's health:
"Cleared to play does not mean 'cleared to play well'," said the medical source. "He's at high risk [for greater tearing] both because of trauma and his style of play in which he will go downfield or throw with a lot of velocity. He's going to stress his cuff."
But wait a second. While this doctor was essentially saying that it's hardly a safe bet that Favre can make it through a complete season, keep in mind that this person has neither operated on Favre nor examined the tear. Dr. Andrews has done both and was more reassuring about Favre's arm.
On Friday, Andrews called Cook to say that if Favre wanted to play, he should.
"He can’t promise that it won’t get worse, but Dr. Andrews basically said it should be OK to get through the season. Basically, he said, ‘Hey, if you want to play, go do it,’ " Cook said.
I'll trust Andrews' word over the anonymous doctor's. There's no getting around the fact that the rotator cuff tear is a valid question mark heading into the season, but it shouldn't be overlooked that Andrews trusts Favre's ability to make it through the season. Fears about his health could very well be overblown.
None of this changes my opinion that Favre's health remains the biggest obstacle between this team and championship contention. But that's a significant improvement over where this team stood on Monday, when the overall performance from the quarterback position was the biggest obstacle. Now it's just the durability of the guy under center. It's something the Vikings need to be cautious about, but hopefully Andrews' assessment is right.