Q: How much does this situation remind you of 2000 when you played Tampa? Are there any parallels to that situation?
BF: I would hope so. It's hard to think back that far. I think I can point to different times in my career where I came back and played with whatever injury and was able to play well enough to help us win or give us a chance to win. That would be, not only that time but other times as well, my reasoning for wanting to play, my desire to play and not to mention being able to function. I would say right now, I don't know. That would be me being honest. I broke my thumb, I can't remember what year that was; first game back was against Minnesota here in the Dome. If you would have told me prior to, and still to this day it's hard for me to imagine, a thrower who has a broken thumb on that hand would be able to function at a high level. For me, and as I tell a lot of guys, I'm willing to give it a try. I think back to all of those times where I said, 'I'm willing to give it a try.' Had I not, I wouldn't have known what you are talking about, or when I played against Minnesota here, not only that game, but one of the best stretches of my career with a broken thumb in a splint. What does that mean for this week? I would say it is worth a try. Mid-foot sprain was very painful. This is a very similar injury, but you have to throw into the mix, basically a broken heel-bone is what it is, a calcaneus. Again I am assured it's broken, but there is not a risk of further injury. Would it continue to be sore? Absolutely. That is kind of the way I am approaching it. I would love to play for no other reason than I'm in this and committed to this team. I would love to get us back on track and be a part of it and more than anything, function at a level that gives us a chance to win. That is basically it. If not, Tarvaris Jackson will do a great job. I have no doubts whatsoever. I would love to be able to try and do it.
Q: How will you come to the decision to play or not?
BF: The thing is, Sunday I'm still going to have a broken bone in my foot. We know that. Whether I play or not, next week it will be sore. You would assume by not playing it will continue to get a little better each day. We're going to continue to treat it and see how the symptoms change during the course of the week. I've always had a knack for healing, I think, quicker than maybe most people. Mentally I know, because I am going back in history, I have been able to play with different types of injuries that most people probably wouldn't have attempted. That kind of gives me a little bit of hope. The fact that I have played maybe a quarter-and-a-half, maybe a bit longer the other night, gives me a little bit of hope as well. We'll just kind of follow the symptoms and if the pain and swelling subsides, that will tell a lot. Maybe Friday, I don't know yet, Friday just kind of see where we are. I don't anticipate going through a full practice.
Q: What does your consecutive games started-streak mean to you?
BF: All I can say is, 'Wow.' I kind of lost count a long time ago. I am very proud of the streak, but it probably should have ended a long time ago; numerous injuries, just something that I touched on. The only reason I would want to play (is to help us win). I don't want to go out there for one play; I don't want to go out there for three plays. If I am able to play, I want to play the whole game and give us a chance to win. I know it makes for good TV talking about the streak. Will it end? Will this be the injury that stops him? Whether it ends this week or whether it ends at the end of the year, it ends. I will always be proud of it. In the game of football every week it's a crapshoot of injuries. I have been able to overcome a lot of injuries. I am thankful up to this point that I have been able to play however-many games in a row. It's all about being able to help this team win and get us back on track. That's the only thing I am concerned about.
Q: Will this be a mutual decision between you and Coach Childress?
BF: Not real sure. I do know, as I tell guys, 'No one knows your body like you know it. No one knows how much it will hinder you.' Again, this is a little different injury. I don't know how much it would affect me. I know it is worth considering to play. I will be honest with myself as well as with Brad when that time comes. As I stand here right now, I don't know if that is pregame, I don't know if it is right before kickoff or if it's tomorrow. If tomorrow it feels better than today, then to me that is some hope. He's the head coach, he makes those decisions. I would think that it would be an open-dialogue deal, 'How do you feel? What do you think?' You weigh the options.
Q: Do you feel any differently about your decision to come back this year now?
BF: Nope. I said this weeks back, once I decided to come I knew that there were no guarantees. I would love to come in and have the same year as last year. Everyone's hopes and expectations have been Super Bowl. That shouldn't change. There is still a lot of football left. We have dug ourselves a hole here. We all know that, for whatever reason. I take as much responsibility as anyone. I'm not going to shy away from it. This could easily be an injury where I could say, 'I'm going to slip under the radar. See you later, easy out.' People may think that. I want to play and I want to help this team win. I owe that to the guys and I owe that to myself.
Q: Does this injury make you think about retirement?
BF: No. Once again, I am more committed today than I was before the injury. I don't want anyone to print, 'Well he wasn't committed last week.' That's not true. I am just saying it would be easy to walk away or take a step back. There is a chance I don't play this week, no secret to anyone. I want to play. I want to do what I can this week to get myself ready to play. I know the bone will continue to be broken for quite a while. I have done it in the past. I think I can do it again. I just want to help this team get back on track. That's what I came in here for, and for no other reason.
Q: How severe is this injury?
BF: I saw the picture. I guess basically the heel-bone, and I don't know how much Brad discussed it, but there is a clean break in the upper part of the calcaneus with a stress fracture down towards the bottom. Dr. Nielson, who performed the ankle surgery this offseason, along with Dr. Andrews, they for the most part agreed with the doctors here on what the injury is and what to expect from here on out. Talking to Dr. Neilson two nights ago, he said, 'I'm not going to say you couldn't play with this. I don't know of any in recent memory, if any, that have played with it. Given the fact that you've played with a lot of different injuries, I'm not going to say that it can't be done.' I don't even want to begin to point where it is and stuff. It seemed like a harmless tackle. I have had people say, 'It didn't look too bad.' It's just the way it got torqued and twisted. That's why the bone was able to pop off the back-side of it. In talking with the doctors, I am a little optimistic about not further injuring it. It's just more or less being able to tolerate the pain and how well I can function.
Q: Are you getting fitted with an orthotic or maybe getting a special type of shoe?
BF: I am sure we will look into that. I am actually considering playing with this [points to boot]. We'll see if we can put some screw-in cleats on it. Right now, if I had to guess, if I were to try and play I would wear a bigger shoe and do some type of splint or something. I'm just guessing. We haven't really gotten that far yet. You would have to put added support there. You would wear a bigger shoe.
Q: Why do you feel like you can handle injuries better than most?
BF: I must have. Either that or I am just a knucklehead, which a lot of people would probably agree with that anyway, either way. I just go back to my dad, who was always my baseball and football coach, I was no different than most kids. You fall down, you start crying, you want attention; I never got it from him. It was, 'You're not hurt.' Ninety-nine-percent of the time he was right. I just learned that you just get up and play with it. That's the way I was brought up and raised. I am sure several years down the road I'm going to go, 'Look what the heck you have done.' This week is not going to make much of a difference in the future, based on what I have done in the previous 19 years. I think God has blessed me with an ability, not that it doesn't hurt, but to overcome it and mentally set it aside and focus on what I'm doing. A lot of luck along the way as well. It seemed harmless, and I have been tackled a lot harder and twisted around. It was just the way it happened. My mental state has always been after an injury to give it a try. It would be easy to say, 'Just can't do it.' Once again, so many great things I have accomplished after injuries. Maybe not necessarily next week, but the whole year is basically to be willing to take it on. It's not that it doesn't hurt. I can't say that this would hurt you more than it hurts me. I don't know that. It would appear that way just based on what I have been able to overcome.
Q: What is your relationship with Coach Childress at this point?
BF: I had heard about the post-game comments. I had actually heard about them before I went in. Every coach is different. Emotions run high for players and coaches. I can't disagree with some of his comments. I'd be the first to tell you there are plays I should I have made, plays where maybe I should have read things differently. I can go back throughout my whole career and say that. We had a talk yesterday, not necessarily about that, but just injuries and things in general. I wanted to address to him that I would like to play or at least have that mindset as the week progresses. I think we have been able to talk about things. Do we necessarily agree? No, I think that is part of it. I think both of our intentions are to win. We got to get this on track. We know that. How we get there remains to be seen. As long as we are both focused on the right prize. I didn't come here hoping to get along with Brad any more or less than I did last year or whatever. He's the head coach; I'm the quarterback. I know what is expected of me. I don't need him or anyone else to tell me that. My intentions are to do that and help this team win. That doesn't mean we have to agree all of the time.
Q: Do you trust your ability to decide whether you are healthy enough to play or not?
BF: I do. Once again, just going back throughout my career, if I think I can play and start the game, and the second quarter rolls around and we run a play that requires me to roll out or something and my mind tells me I can do it and the body doesn't agree, then I would be the first to know that. You are not going to get all of those reps in practice. Mentally I think I can do it. I have done it before. Will it hurt? I am sure it will. I played the rest of that game the other night and had to move around some. Had I known I had a broken bone, there is probably a different mindset all of the sudden, 'Oh, I have a broken bone. I can't move on it.' I have to keep that in mind. I know I will keep an open mind about it and be smart about it. I don't want to go out and play just to play and look back and say, 'I should have known better than I can't make that play.' I do know that if I didn't have a hurt foot, I'm not going to rush for 50 yards and with a broken foot I'm not going to rush for 50 yards. We do know that. There are some limitations that really won't change.