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IRON MEN

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Brett Favre will be on the 45-man active roster come Sunday but most people think his consecutive starts streak will come to an end at 297.

So, should Favre not start, our options at quarterback against a very good 8-4 New York Giants team are Tarvaris Jackson and, should he go down, Joe Webb, Sidney Rice, R.J. Archer…and Favre himself, if everyone else goes down

In that case, it will be The Adrian Gerhart Show. Hell, it’s probably The Adrian Gerhart Show regardless.

If The Streak ends, that’s one Iron Man down. Favre’s failure to start will highlight not just the end of an amazing streak but the aging of the Vikings roster, which we’ll have to address in the offseason.

We had another Iron Man go down last week with Steve Hutchinson and his broken thumb. We’ll see if he can go Sunday and if he does, how effective he’ll be.

More importantly, though, Hutch’s play has dropped from his league-best standard. He’s still good, just no longer the best, as ESPN1500.com’s Tom Pelissero points out in his piece on Hutchinson, that includes some remarkably frank quotes about the guard’s (and pro linemen in general) physical decline from offensive line coach Pat Morris:

“(Hutchinson) will struggle to get underneath people and get movement and keep his balance, basically. You see that a lot more. There’s times it was just kind of a thin block, and (a defensive tackle) would just throw him. Up until this year, you’d never see anyone do this to ‘Hutch.’ He used to kick our ass.”

Defensive tackle Pat Williams wants to play a few more years–and he certainly qualifies as an Iron Man–but he isn’t nearly the player he was two years ago. There’s always a chance he could return to his disruptive form next year but do the Vikes really want to gamble on that chance?

Though Antoine Winfield is having a Pro Bowl-worthy season, he’s getting up there in years, too.

Finally, there’s a different kind of Iron Man: Percy Harvin toughs it out and plays through every injury except for the incapacitating migraines he suffers from continuously.

While Harvin is certainly a lock to make the Vikings roster for years to come, the unpredictability of his migraines makes it essential the team has a backup plan should he not be able to go….which his where Joe Webb might come into play?

FLASHBACK FRIDAY
I can’t call it Throwback Thursday becaaaaause today is Friday, so let’s just agree it’s Flashback Friday. I give you Fran Tarkenton leading the New York Giants past the Minnesota Vikings in the 1969 season opener, the first season during which the Vikings made it to the Super Bowl. [WATCH the New York Giants vs the Minnesota Vikings.]

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