TORONTO - So much for Brett Favre to the Bears.
A high-ranking Chicago source told ESPN on Tuesday that the team is not interested in signing Favre to take over at quarterback.
A report that Favre would come out of retirement yet again and consider an offer from the Bears had provoked a ton of reaction, mostly negative, but Chicago seems to wisely have acted prudently and decided against the desperation move.
With Jay Cutler out long-term and the uninspiring Caleb Hanie now under centre, the fantasy of Favre stepping in had to be tempting.
But the reality probably would have been a nightmare. Given his age and the number of months it has been since he last played an NFL game, Favre in a Bears jersey would have been ugly. Plus he would have had to learn a complicated offence and try to move the chains without injured star running back Matt Forte.
As well, the Bears still think there is a chance that Cutler will be able to return at some point, adding Favre would have created too much of a circus. Zaniness and distractions have seemed to follow the future hall of famer around late in his career and Chicago is too big of a market to keep any craziness low key.
This weekend should make the playoff picture a little clearer in the NFL.
Green Bay and San Francisco are already in and New Orleans can join them with a win over Tennessee and an Atlanta loss in Carolina.
Houston can claim the AFC South with a victory over Cincinnati and with a Tennessee loss to New Orleans.
New England triumphs in the AFC East by beating Washington and a Jets loss to Kansas City.
Pittsburgh makes the playoffs with a lot of help. A win and losses by Cincinnati, the Raiders, the Broncos and either the Jets or the Titans.
Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy has recovered enough from a sprain knee to return to practice and plans to start Thursday against Pittsburgh.
McCoy was able to practise a day after looking nowhere close.
McCoy said he is "ready to roll" against the Steelers.
Jeff Fisher might not be out of work much longer. The longtime Titans head coach has been contacted by two teams, according to NFL.com's Jason La Canfora. La Canfora listed San Diego, St. Louis, Dallas and the New York Giants as possibilities, but the Jaguars and Dolphins also could be in the mix … Atlanta cornerback Brent Grimes will not play on Sunday at Carolina due to minor knee surgery. He will miss two-to-four weeks … Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke's neck injury is so serious, he could miss the rest of the year. He suffered a stinger back in October and will undergo neck surgery, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette … Cam Newton got his record-setting football back. Newton gave it to a 16-year-old fan after scoring his 13th rushing touchdown of the season, but a quick-thinking Panthers employee got it back … Tim Tebow isn't just winning games, he's getting PAID. The Denver quarterback earned a $472,500 U.S. one-time bonus for playing at least 45% of the Bronco's snaps this season … Green Bay quarterbacks coach Tom Clements has applied to replace Joe Paterno as head coach at Penn State … The NFL has confirmed the four-game suspensions for Washington's Fred Davis and Trent Williams. The pair violated the substance abuse policy.
FRUSTRATION IN TEXAS
How frustrating life must be for the Houston Texans and the team's fans.
All the talent in the world, but the players can't seem to stay healthy.
Matt Schaub's done for the year. Mario Williams too, both are difference-makers. Arian Foster, one of the NFL's premier rushers, has battled injuries since the start of the season.
And, of course, there is Andre Johnson. No worse than the third-best wide receiver in the league when healthy, Johnson has also been hobbled throughout the campaign.
Johnson's hamstring injury might keep him out against Cincinnati this week, though head coach Gary Kubiak still hopes to have him in the lineup.
The Texans stand at 9-3 despite all of this misfortune and have won six straight.
Johnson was only two games into his return from a six-game injury absence when he pulled up lame while chasing a deep pass in Sunday's 17-10 win over Atlanta
With the unproven T.J. Yates taking over for Schaub, Houston badly needs to get Johnson 100% healthy in order to have any shot at making some noise in the playoffs.
Logically, that would mean giving him a rest this week.