Brett Favre said Wednesday that he will rejoin the Minnesota Vikings to make another run at a Super Bowl championship, adding that he feels he owes it to the organization. However, Favre admitted this will be his final year.
Favre was practicing with the team Wednesday morning and said though his ankle is still sore, it felt good to be back with the team. He also said he wants to play on Sunday in San Francisco against the 49ers.
“I really enjoy this group of guys like you wouldn’t believe,” Favre said during the press conference. “I think the feeling is mutual.”
Favre said after everything he — and the team — went through last year, getting so close to a Super Bowl and losing at the last moment, he feels he owes it to the team to come back.
“I just felt like I owe it to this organization to give it one more try. I have no idea how it will pan out. All I can promise you is I’ll give my best,” he said.
Favre said he visited his doctor last Thursday and said his ankle is definitely still healing but he’s noticed there’s more range in motion since the surgery.
“Playing football is probably not the healthiest thing to do for your joints, but all in all, it is a little better,” he said, adding that he feels as good as he felt last year.
After staying away from training camp, Favre was practicing less than 24 hours after the team sent three of his closest friends, and teammates, to Mississippi to bring him back after another summer of indecision.
Favre said when it comes to taking no for an answer with guys like Steve Hutchinson — it’s not easy.
“He didn’t have to convince me that this was a great football team, a great environment. I knew that,” he said. “Those guys were like, ‘If you could do us one favor.’ That’s a pretty big favor.”
The 40-year-old quarterback flew to Minnesota on Tuesday from his home in Mississippi.
He said it’s all about the team and what the team wants — and if the Vikings felt he was no longer a good fit, they probably wouldn’t have flown out to convince him to come back.
“It’s worth giving it one more try,” Favre said.
Most importantly, Favre answered the question on a lot of people’s minds — what was in that bucket he was carrying into Winter Park.
Favre joked it was a mix of Metamucil, vitamins and calcium, before saying it was actually protein powder.
All jokes aside, after the team’s loss last year to the New Orleans Saints, Favre said he had a lot of think about.
“I just kept thinking, I was so close, so close to getting these guys to the Super Bowl,” he said. “I kept thinking maybe I can give it one more try. There’s no guarantees. Never should be.”
Favre will turn 41 in October. He’s flirted with retirement for years. Last year, after joining the Vikings late in training camp, Favre went on to throw 33 touchdowns with just seven interceptions while helping Minnesota reach the NFC championship game.
On Tuesday, Favre’s flight landed around 3:30 p.m. at Flying Cloud Airport and after a long, drawn-out exit, he got off the plane and into a vehicle headed to Winter Park.
Favre’s return to the field came on the one-year anniversary of the day he signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings.
Teammates Jared Allen, Hutchinson and Ryan Longwell made a personal visit to Favre’s home Monday evening — and whatever was said, it seemed to work. Favre was on a plane, with his teammates, headed to Minnesota around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
At the beginning of the month, Favre said he had not made any decisions about whether or not to return to the team for another season, despite reports saying he had texted players and told them he would not be coming back.
He had one of his best seasons last year, with career bests in completion percentage (68.4), quarterback rating (107.2) and fewest interceptions (7), while throwing for 33 TDs and 4,202 yards to lead the Vikings to an NFC North title.
He hurt his left ankle in the NFC Championship loss to the New Orleans Saints and had arthroscopic surgery in May.
But one good omen for the Vikings in 2010, Favre ran — slowly — without a limp in Wednesday’s practice.