Injury Ends Favre's Consecutive Start Streak At 297

Buffalo Bills linebacker Arthur Moats (52) hitting Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre (4) dur

Buffalo Bills linebacker Arthur Moats (52) hitting Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre (4) during the first quarter of the Dec 5 game in Minneapolis. Hannah Foslien/FR159563 AP hide caption

itoggle caption Hannah Foslien/FR159563 AP

Brett Favre’s streak is over. The Minnesota Vikings announced late Monday that Favre would be inactive for the evening's game against the New York Giants because of an injured shoulder. Favre had started 297 regular season consecutive games dating back to 1992.  Make it 321 games, if you include playoffs.

With all due respect to Cal Ripken, Jr., and his record 2,632 consecutive baseball games, it’s Favre who’s been the real iron man in American professional sports. Considering the violence of pro football, and the fact that Favre risked life and limb each time he took the field, his 297 straight regular season starts could stand for many years as the standard for sports longevity.

It was the shoulder injury the 41-year-old Favre suffered last weekend that finally got him. He was hit from behind by linebacker Arthur Moats at the beginning of a game against the Buffalo Bills.

"I don't want to see anybody hurting and not playing any more. If he plays, that would be a good thing,'' Moats said. "But if he doesn't, and I was the guy to end the streak, all right. That's a little notable, yeah.''

Favre bought a little extra time to heal when yesterday’s game against the Giants was postponed after the roof on Minnesota’s Metrodome collapsed because of heavy snow in Minneapolis. The game was rescheduled for Monday night in Detroit, but the delay wasn’t long enough for Favre.

With Tavaris Jackson starting at quarterback, the Vikings lost to the Giants 21-3.

Season No. 20 has been one of Favre's toughest. He's taken a beating on the field and played not only through two fractures in his left foot and elbow tendinitis but 10 stitches in his chin and aches in his neck, back and calf before he was crunched by Moats.

Favre has thrown a league-high 18 interceptions and his 69.6 QB rating is 29th in the league.

He's also been the subject of an NFL investigation into allegations he sent inappropriate messages and photos to a game-day hostess when both worked for the New York Jets in 2008. The investigation has lasted for more than two months now, and the lawyer for Jenn Sterger was vocal last week in trying to get a ruling announced.

NPR's Tom Goldman contributed to this report, which includes material from the Associated Press.

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