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Favre looks ready to go for Packers

Broncos’ Plummer may not be so lucky after loss to Chiefs

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Brett Favre fired tight spirals in practice Friday and even joked around by playing a little defense against wide receiver Donald Driver.

The play of the 37-year-old quarterback, listed as questionable with groin and a nerve injury in his right elbow, comforted the coaching staff.

"That guy's a gamer," offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski said. "I've seen that guy with a torn knee and all that and still make the plays. I never doubt he'll be there."

Favre had an extra day of rest on Thursday because the Packers play at Seattle on Monday night. Favre, who has started 251 consecutive games, was tackled hard by linebacker Tedy Bruschi late in the second quarter of the Packers' 35-0 loss to the Patriots last Sunday and did not return to the game.

The 16-year veteran admitted Wednesday he was still struggling with feeling his grip on the ball. Favre said two fingers were stuck shut after the injury, and he couldn't quite feel the ball the way he wants to, so he was struggling to make it do what he wanted it to do in the air.

But he seemed better Friday.

Backup Aaron Rodgers is out for the season. He broke his left foot at some point in the third quarter against New England replacing Favre and played with the injury the rest of the game.

PLUMMER MAY BE OUT: Jake Plummer's been looking over his shoulder since the Denver Broncos chose Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler with the 11th pick in the NFL draft back in April.

He may not be craning his neck much longer.

A season-long slump that culminated with back-to-back losses to San Diego and Kansas City in a four-day span finally might have cost Plummer his starting job in Denver, where John Elway set the championship standard that has yet to be matched in the seven seasons since he retired with two Super Bowl rings.

Coach Mike Shanahan isn't saying who will be under center when the Broncos (7-4) host the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 3, but the buzz is he'll turn to Cutler, the last of the "Big Three" quarterbacks taken in the draft, behind Texas' Vince Young and USC's Matt Leinart.

"I can't tell you what's going to happen," an emotional Plummer said after the Broncos' 19-10 loss to the Chiefs on Thursday night. "All I know is that I'm getting on the plane, going to take a few days off and come back. And if I'm still behind the trigger, I'm going to play as hard as I can, like I always have."

BARBER, COUGHLIN CLEAR AIR AGAIN: For the second time in less than a year, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin had a sitdown with Tiki Barber after the veteran halfback criticized the coaching staff following a loss.

While refusing to discuss what was said in their meeting, Coughlin said Friday that Barber's complaint that coaches abandoned the running game too early in a loss to Jacksonville should have been made to him directly instead of through the media.

Other than saying the Wednesday night meeting went well, Barber refused to discuss it just two days before the Giants (6-4) were to play the Titans (3-7) in Tennessee. He also defended his decision to talk after being limited to 27 yards on 10 carries.

"You guys ask me questions and I tell you the truth," said Barber, whose 998 yards was the fourth best in the league heading into this week's action. "I tell you what's on my mind. I think if I said anything other than the truth, that would compromise who I am and that would be doing you guys a disservice."

Coughlin isn't a big fan of players going to the media.

Barber did it in the playoffs last year, saying the team was outcoached in a 23-0 playoff loss to Carolina. Tight end Jeremy Shockey made similar comments earlier this season after New York was blown out in Seattle.

"The comments that were made, obviously, are disappointing to me, and the fact of the matter is that my door is always open and that's where it is to start," said Coughlin, who also had a meeting with Shockey after his blowup.

RAMS GUARD READY TO PLAY: Rams offensive guard Adam Timmerman, listed as questionable a few days ago due to bruised ribs, on Friday said he'll start this week against the San Francisco 49ers. Timmerman, held out of practice on Wednesday, was upgraded to probable, a positive sign for a beleaguered unit that allowed seven sacks and produced 111 total yards in a 15-0 loss to the Panthers last week. Timmerman has played in 181 consecutive games.

HARTWIG PUT ON IR: The Carolina Panthers placed center Justin Hartwig on injured reserve Friday, ending his disappointing season. Coach John Fox said Hartwig would undergo surgery soon to repair a groin injury that kept him out of all but two games this season. "We could have waited until the end of the season to have surgery. Now we've decided it just wasn't coming along, so he'll have it now," Fox said. The Panthers gave the former Tennessee Titan a five-year, $17 million free-agent deal in the offseason — one of the richest contracts for a center in the NFL — to replace the aging Jeff Mitchell, who wasn't re-signed.

SHARPER FINED: Minnesota Vikings free safety Darren Sharper was fined $15,000 on Friday for bumping into an official during last week's loss at Miami.

A league spokesman said the fine was for "impermissable physical contact with a game official. Specifically while pursuing a pass play, he ran directly toward the game official and shoved him to the ground."

The play happened during the third quarter of Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Dolphins.

SMOOT DEMOTED: The Minnesota Vikings have demoted cornerback Fred Smoot, who has struggled in recent weeks with a groin injury and the death of his half-brother. Coach Brad Childress said Friday that rookie Cedric Griffin has leapfrogged the veteran Smoot on the depth chart at right cornerback, though both will see plenty of action Sunday against Arizona. "I think the best thing is that the guys that give us the best chance to win are on the field," Childress said.