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Vikings plan to rest Favre in Friday's game vs. Cowboys, not risk injury

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Brett Favre's non-traditional arrival in Minnesota isn't stopping Vikings coach Brad Childress from taking a traditional approach to his team's preseason finale.

Favre will not play against the Dallas Cowboys on Friday night.

"I don't see the upside," Childress said Wednesday.

Most teams rest their marquee starters in the final preseason game to avoid the risk of injury with the regular season only one week away. What makes this situation unique, however, is Favre's recent arrival in Minnesota.

It has been a whirlwind for Favre ever since he arrived to a hero's welcome just 16 days ago. A helicopter followed him from a Twin Cities airport to the Vikings' headquarters in Eden Prairie, where more than 100 fans swarmed Childress's sport-utility vehicle as it pulled into the parking lot.

Three days later, Favre was in uniform and looking every bit as rusty as could be expected. He completed 1 of 4 passes for 4 yards in two series against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he looked much more comfortable on Monday night in Houston.

Favre completed 13 of 18 passes for 142 yards and one touchdown while playing into the third quarter of a 17-10 victory over the Texans.

"I thought he made a nice jump from Week 1 to Week 2 and showed he's got a good understanding of what we're doing," Childress said of his 39-year-old quarterback.

Favre ran a similar offense for 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers and hasn't had trouble getting up to speed with the Vikings' playbook. The biggest thing he has to work on is chemistry with his receivers, learning their tendencies and how each one puts his own variation on the routes that are run.

The biggest strides were shown on the Vikings' final drive of the first half against the Texans. Favre completed the final six passes of the drive, moving Minnesota 74 yards in nine plays, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to Chester Taylor.

"I think we can be productive, but we've got to get it together pretty quickly," Favre said after the game.

The Vikings open the regular season Sept. 13 at Cleveland, so Favre and the rest of Minnesota's offensive starters will have an entire week of practice to fine-tune things before the games start for real.

"We're at a pretty good spot right now, but he's only been here two weeks," Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice said. "We still have a lot of things we can work on together. We're going to continue to work on those things together."

Favre still hasn't played a game with top receiver Bernard Berrian, who missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. But Favre is spending extra time looking at tape and has stayed late at practice on occasion to throw to his receivers as they try to find the timing needed to keep the chains moving.

"I feel like we're definitely jelling," said running back Adrian Peterson, who had a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage against the Texans. "I feel like we're there, but there's always room to improve.

"We've still got some polishing. Just shine it up and buff it up a little bit, and I think we'll be OK."

For now, Favre and most of the rest of the starters will have to apply the final coat of wax in practice. Childress isn't willing to risk a major injury, and he knows firsthand that can happen.

Childress was an assistant in Philadelphia in 2001 when Eagles coach Andy Reid decided to play his starters at the beginning of the preseason finale against the New York Jets. Childress said that center Bubba Miller broke his leg on the last play of the opening drive.

"Just that one more play, that one more series," Childress said. "It's hard enough to lose them on regular football Sundays."

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