Hall of Fame Iron Man Favre almost flunked out by physical

Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:46pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Brett Favre, who will be inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer at the Canton, Ohio shrine next month, set scores of NFL records during his 20-year career at quarterback, including a seemingly unbreakable Iron Man mark.

Yet the man who ended up playing 297 straight games (321 including playoffs) was nearly shut down by a failed physical exam before his career took off.

"I hurt my hip in the East-West Shrine (college All-Star) game and was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip, sort of like what Bo Jackson had, when blood supply is cut off to a joint," Favre told a conference call on Tuesday.

Favre said the diagnosis turned many teams away ahead of the 1991 NFL Draft, where the University of Southern Mississippi quarterback fell to the second round, taken by the Atlanta Falcons with the 33rd overall pick.

"Atlanta actually went and did MRIs, X-Rays," said Favre, who barely played his rookie season, throwing four passes without a completion, including two interceptions.

Green Bay's first-year general manager Ron Wolf, who had admired Favre's talent the year before when he was on the New York Jets staff, dealt a 1992 first-round pick to Atlanta to obtain the fearless, strong-armed Favre.

"I was traded to Green Bay and was reevaluated that year and was more or less flunked, if you will. Ron overruled that. He said 'I'll take whatever years he can possibly give us.'

"The debt of gratitude (I have) is forever payable. I've told Ron that over and over again. I had a conversation with him last night. We're both always so thankful for each other."   Continued...

Nov 26, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre addresses the crowd during halftime of the NFL game against the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving at Lambeau Field.  Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports