Bears’ Dvoracek can’t buy a break
“Words do a disservice,” Bears nose tackle Anthony Adams said. “I can’t describe how he feels about it. I can’t describe how I feel about it.
“When I heard about it, I was just like, ‘man, that (stinks).’ ”
Dvoracek sprained his right medial collateral ligament in Saturday night’s 17-3 preseason victory over the New York Giants. Several Chicago media outlets reported on Monday that Dvoracek suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but Bears coach Lovie Smith said the team knows only about the sprain at this point.
“Dusty Dvoracek right now has an MCL sprain,” Smith said. “We’ll be doing more tests. That’s about all we know with him.”
Bears players found the injury news difficult to take because Dvoracek had his first three years with the team end on injured reserve with season-ending injuries. In 2007, he tore the left anterior cruciate ligament in the first game.
In three seasons, Dvoracek has played in 13 games. His contract expires following this season.
If Dvoracek misses an extended period of time or the rest of the season, the Bears’ nose tackle situation could take on a drastically different look.
Dvoracek was in a battle with Adams and Marcus Harrison for the starting spot, but all three were rotating onto the field to stay fresh. Veteran Matt Toeaina also has had playing time in the preseason at nose tackle.
“It affects everybody,” Adams said. “We were planning on going into the season with a nice rotation.”
Favre to play first half
Brett Favre’s crash course in all things Viking ramps up this week, with coach Brad Childress saying Monday he expects the 39-year-old quarterback to play the entire first half of Minnesota’s next exhibition game at Houston.
Favre signed last Tuesday, arriving with such fanfare that there was little time to fully prepare for his first appearance in purple, which came Friday night against Kansas City.
He played two series against the Chiefs, going 1-for-4 for four yards and no first downs.
The Vikings’ third preseason game is next Monday night, and typically is when coaches play their starters the most. Childress said it will be important for Favre to get plenty of snaps to try to build chemistry with his offensive teammates before the regular season opens at Cleveland on Sept. 13.
Even though Favre missed more than two weeks of training camp, Childress said there was still plenty of time for him to catch up with the offense and learn his teammates’ tendencies.
“He’s doing everything he needs to do to get up to speed,” Childress said. “(I’m) confident we’ve got the type (of team) and distance to be able to do that.”
After the game Friday night, Favre said he “didn’t miss a beat” calling the plays. He ran a nearly identical offense in Green Bay for 16 seasons and has said he knows the system so well that he could teach it.
He arrived in the Twin Cities to a circus-like atmosphere. A helicopter followed him from the airport to the team’s headquarters, where more than 100 fans and 50 members of the media were staking out the entrance.
Now that his first game with the Vikings is out of the way, the former Packers icon said he expects things to mellow out as the preseason progresses.
“Each day it has gotten a little bit smoother after all of the newness has worn off,” Favre said after the 17-13 win over the Chiefs. “It’s really (become) just about football.”
Childress was not ready to say what his plans were for Favre in the preseason finale against Dallas on Sept. 4. In his first year on the job in 2006, Childress played his starters through the first half in the final preseason game.
The last two seasons, however, he has given most of his first-teamers that game off to avoid risking injury so close to the start of the regular season.
“Brett’s old enough to remember, because we had this discussion just a couple days ago, of when guys played into the half in Game 4,” Childress said. “Why it’s changed, I’m not quite sure. But it has changed, not necessarily just because of roster numbers, but all of a sudden it became en vogue that some people didn’t play past Game 3.”
Between now and then, Childress said he will monitor the number of throws Favre makes during practice as he works his way into shape. On the day that he signed, Favre said he still has a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, so the Vikings want to make sure he keeps his arm fresh for the 16-game grind.
“I think you just have to be careful, particularly when you’re just starting, that there’s not too many throws. ... When guys come back it’s not like they break ’em off,” Childress said. “So it’s more managing. I’m not going to put a number on that for you, but we have a pretty good idea.”