Brett Favre is still stinging from that painful loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC title game three months ago - so much so that it's a factor in his decision to come back to the Vikings next season.
Favre issued a statement on his website Friday saying his left ankle is still hurting and will require surgery if he wants to return for Minnesota. But he said the injury "is not debilitating" and he's come through far worse in a 19-year career built on playing through pain.
"I don't believe major surgery on the ankle would be required for me to return in 2010," Favre wrote. "I've consulted with Dr. (James) Andrews on the phone, and a relatively minor procedure could be done to improve the dexterity of the ankle, and to relieve the pain. I've put up with pain worse than this in my career, and I didn't want anyone to assume that the possibility of surgery was the sole factor that would determine whether I return or not."
Currently holding all the NFL's major career passing records, Favre will turn 41 in October. He has turned the waiting game into an art form late in his career, and it appears this summer will be no different.
The Vikings have made it clear they won't pressure Favre into a decision on whether he will return for a 20th NFL season.
Vikings coach Brad Childress said he was neither surprised nor concerned by Favre's revelation. He reiterated that he would be fine with Favre missing the first two weeks of training camp like he did last year.
Favre is under contract for $13 million for 2010.
BEARS: Chicago has hired former Seattle Seahawks president and general manager Tim Ruskell as their director of player personnel. Ruskell will be reunited with Bears general manager Jerry Angelo. The two previously worked together in Tampa Bay's front office.
BILLS: Former Gators receiver David Nelson signed as an undrafted rookie free agent.
DOLPHINS: Owner Stephen Ross says the team will "make improvements" to its player interviewing practices, responding to the fallout from General Manager Jeff Ireland asking former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant whether his mother was ever a prostitute.
In a short statement Friday afternoon, Ross said Ireland "is well deserving of my continued confidence" and that he considers "the matter closed."
Ireland apologized to Bryant earlier this week.
GIANTS: Punter Jeff Feagles, the oldest active player in the NFL at 44, announced his retirement after 22 seasons and a league-record 352 consecutive games.
JAGUARS: Free-agent linebacker Freddy Keiaho signed with Jacksonville after spending his first four seasons with Indianapolis.
LEGAL: A man convicted of killing Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams has been sentenced to life in prison plus 1,152 years. Willie Clark was sentenced Friday without the possibility of parole after being convicted of murdering Williams and 16 attempted murder counts in the New Year's Day 2007 attack.