FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets
general manager Mike Tannenbaum acknowledged Thursday he made a mistake
handling Brett Favre's biceps tendon injury last season, and should
have listed the quarterback on the team's injury report.
Tannenbaum and the Jets could face
disciplinary action from the NFL for not listing Favre's torn biceps
tendon on the weekly report following the injury with four or five
games remaining. Tannenbaum said Favre should have appeared on the report
"I'll take responsibility for that,"
he said. "As the GM of this team, I should've handled that differently
and listed him on the report. We didn't, just because he wasn't getting
treatment every day and we knew he was going to play. But, looking back
on it now, I should've listed him as probable, and we didn't, and I'll
take responsibility for that."
Tannenbaum called the league offices
and spoke to Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of
football operations, about the issue. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello
confirmed the league is looking into the situation.
"I'll just say that we'll cooperate with them," Tannenbaum said, "and we'll go from there."
Favre led the Jets to a terrific
start as the team soared into first place in the AFC East at 8-3 with
consecutive road wins at New England and Tennessee. But Favre's injury
hampered him and he threw nine interceptions down the stretch as the
team lost four of its last five games and missed the playoffs.
Favre retired after the season, and
was later released by the Jets. The quarterback came out of retirement
— again — last month and signed with Minnesota. On Wednesday, Favre
told reporters in Minnesota he may not be able to play all 16 games
with the Vikings this season. The biceps tendon was surgically
repaired, but he's playing with a torn rotator cuff and he recently
suggested he might have a cracked rib.
He said he felt as though he was
harming the Jets with slight misses on some throws late last season.
Favre, who has started 269 consecutive regular-season games, also said
he spoke with Tannenbaum, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer
and quarterbacks coach Brian Daboll — he didn't name then-Jets head
coach Eric Mangini — but the consensus was to finish it out.
"It was a decision that we made
collectively and Brett was part of it," Tannenbaum said. "We just felt
he gave us the best chance to win and that was based on how he was
playing and how the team was doing. Again, he was part of that
decision, but collectively, we thought that was in the best interest of
Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens
said he was aware Favre was in some pain, but there was never a point
he was told he might have to start in the veteran's place.
"Brett Favre at 85 percent is still
better than most, myself included," Clemens said. "Not to mention, he's
Brett Favre. He probably would've had to be in a wheelchair or
something. I didn't take that personal."
Clemens added that Favre was limited in practice and took less snaps as the season wore on.
"I knew just because of the
situation with Brett being in some pain, off and on, that as a backup,
I had a little bit better chance of playing on Sundays," he said.
"You're still behind Brett Favre and he's still the iron man and your
chances still aren't great, but they go up from 2 percent to 4 percent
Schottenheimer spoke with Favre often throughout the season, and said the team never came close to benching the quarterback.
"No, I don't think so,"
Schottenheimer said Thursday. "It was one of those things where you're
talking about one of the toughest competitors that you'll ever see. I
know there were some days where he felt worse than others. … He loves
to play and it's hard to keep him off the field."
Mangini, now the head coach of the
Cleveland Browns, echoed Tannenbaum's comments and refused to blame
Favre's performance for the Jets' late-season collapse.
"With that whole part of the season,
I made the decisions that I thought were best for the team at that
time," he said. "You take all the information in and you move forward
with it. There were a lot of things that I could have done better.
There were a lot of things the coaches could have done better, and
there are a lot of things as players we could have done better. I don't
think winning or losing is ever going to come down to one guy, it's a
He also said as far as he knew, the Jets followed protocol in regard to the injury report.
"I can tell you that we always fill
out the injury report by the guidelines set through the NFL," Mangini
said. "That was true there. It's true here and it will be true every
week of the season and that's how we approach it."
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