Vikings coach says Favre not coming back

MINNEAPOLIS, MN [SPORTS BLOG: Read the latest from the Eyewitness Sports team]

Vikings coach Brad Childress confirmed to The Associated Press in a text message Tuesday that the three-time MVP quarterback for the Green Bay Packers would not join his team when training camp opens later this week. Favre's decision was first reported by The Star Tribune on its Web site.

Childress told the paper Favre did not want to put himself through the grind of a 19th NFL season. Favre himself did not immediately offer a comment from Hattiesburg, Miss., where he worked out with high school players this summer in a bid to keep in shape for a potential return to the NFL.

"It was a rare and unique opportunity to consider adding not only a future Hall of Fame quarterback but one that is very familiar with our system and division," Childress said in a statement on the team's Web site. "That does not detract from the team that we have."

The decision a crushing blow for the Vikings, who openly courted Favre all summer. Adding Favre would have been viewed by many as the final piece for a team that already has star running back Adrian Peterson and a stingy veteran defense that returns nearly intact from last year's NFC North championship season.

Favre came out of retirement last year to play for the New York Jets. He retired again, had surgery in May to alleviate a torn biceps tendon and then openly flirted with the idea of coming back again with the Vikings, the Packers' NFC North rival.

After two months of rehab, Favre told Childress he didn't think he had enough in him to get through a full season.

Now Childress has some damage control to do with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, the two veterans who were expected to compete for the job before the Favre drama began for a second straight year.

Jackson and Rosenfels were peppered with questions about Favre during the team's minicamps this summer. It was a testy situation already for them to deal with, and now they will likely face a whole new set of inquiries with the job up for grabs all over again.

Favre's decision comes at the 11th hour. Vikings players will begin arriving in Mankato for training camp on Wednesday, with a mandatory reporting day of Thursday and the first practice on Friday.

Now it's back to square one, though Childress has said he believes the Vikings will be good with or without Favre.

"As we have consistently communicated, we feel good about our team and they have put forth a tremendous effort this offseason preparing for the season ahead," he said. "With this behind us, we look forward to getting to Mankato and getting training camp under way."

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