Brett Favre's record streak of 297 consecutive National Football League starts ended Monday when he was declared inactive by the Minnesota Vikings for their game against the New York Giants.
Through numerous injuries, his father's death and family illness, Favre had played. But a right shoulder injury suffered last week when the 41-year-old legend was hit by Buffalo linebacker Arthur Moats proved too much to overcome.
"He had numbness in his hand so it wasn't a hard decision," Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said.
Favre's streak, the longest ironman run by any NFL quarterback, began in 1992 and ended in the home stadium of an arch rival, the Detroit Lions.
The Vikings were to have faced the Giants on Sunday in Minnesota, but heavy snow Saturday prompted the NFL to postpone the game from Sunday to Monday.
Favre walked onto the field about half a hour before the game and received a few cheers from spectators before chatting with Tarvaris Jackson, who replaced him in the starting role for the Vikings.
Favre's absence marks the first time in 18 years he has not started an NFL game and could signal the end of the NFL all-time passing leader's career.
Doctors have said it will take a minimum of three weeks for the injury to heal and the season ends January 2.
While he has retired only to return after each of the past three seasons, this farewell has a greater air of finality about it than any before, coming after a season of struggles and injuries.
It would take Manning more than 5 1/2 more seasons without missing a start to pass Favre's total, although that timetable could be reduced if the NFL proposal to stretch seasons from 16 to 18 games a club passes in labor talks.
Manning's younger brother Eli, who made his 100th consecutive start for the Giants against the Vikings, was only 11 when Favre's streak began.
Source: AFP Global Edition