Brett Favre figured that the decision he made July 28 would be the end of it. He told the Vikings he wasn't prepared to come out of retirement, and that was that.
But then he got a phone call Monday from Vikings coach Brad Childress, and it all changed in an instant. Childress, who insisted at the time of Favre's initial decision that he would not revisit the situation, asked if Favre still wanted to come back. Favre said he did.
Within a day, the 39-year-old quarterback was in a Vikings uniform practicing with his new teammates. He is expected to start Friday night's preseason game against the Chiefs.
"Everyone I've talked to said if I were to go back, this is a perfect fit," Favre said at a news conference last night at the Vikings' headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn. "They have a really good football team, a very good running game, and I hope from my standpoint, I could offer some experience and leadership."
Favre said his only reservation about returning was his throwing arm. He had surgery in May to have the remainder of his torn biceps snipped, but doctors discovered a slight tear in his rotator cuff. Favre was told, however, that he probably had played for some time with the tear, because there was some calcification in the area of the injury.
"We all know there are no guarantees," said Favre, who retired after the 2007 season, only to return last August after being traded from Green Bay to the Jets. "My arm has felt pretty good, good enough to feel confident about making the throws I need to make."
Favre said he was not coming back to exact a measure of revenge on the Packers, with whom he played 16 seasons before being dealt to the Jets.
"I think both sides were wrong, but I have no ill feelings toward that," Favre said. "At that stage of my career, it could have been done differently. But you can't take that away. If it was about revenge, I'd have signed on the dotted line the first day. People can believe what they want. I'm in it for the right reasons."
Favre leads the NFL's all-time list with 464 touchdown passes, but also has a league-high 310 interceptions.
"All I want to do is win," Favre said. "There's nothing like it. There's no substitute for playing on Sundays. You can't find that. That's what I'm here for. I don't know what I'm going to be asked to do, but I know I'm going to be a leader. I know I can do that."
"My expectations are high," Favre said. "I'm not going to make predictions, but I didn't come here to lose. I think we can be as good as we want to be. From the outside looking in or the inside looking in, this team is a good football team."
Favre said he continued to train with a high school football team near his home in Hattiesburg, Miss., but admits he didn't practice as hard after telling the Vikings he would remain retired.
"After I said 'no' three weeks ago, at times I was OK with it," Favre said. "Other times, I felt like I really could help that team. As a player, you've got to feel like you can make a difference."