How much longer will Brett Favre continue to play?

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MINNEAPOLIS–Brett Favre signed a $25 million, two-year contract when he joined the Vikings in August and owner Zygi Wilf came out last week and said his quarterback has exceeded expectations. But it will be up to the 40-yard-old Favre to decide if he returns in 2010 for a 20th season.

“I haven’t even thought about it,” Favre said before I pressed him for more in his conference call with Chicago media on Wednesday. “How can I think about next year when we’ve got the Bears coming up this week? The only reason I came back was to hopefully lead this team to a championship. Guys have said that maybe in the past but I think people who know me and have been around me know that is the only reason. That’s what was so disappointing about my last year [2007] in Green Bay is we got so close when no one gave us a shot to even be at that [NFC championship] game, and maybe including me going into the season.

“But as the season progressed I thought we’ve got a little magic here. So it was very disappointing, even though very rewarding, that we got to that point, whereas this year the expectation level was already high and rightfully so. I’m just trying to do everything I can just to get us there and hopefully play the way I’ve played and hopefully this team continues to play and work the way it has and we’ll see what happens.”

I am not going to pretend to be inside the mind of Favre, or act like I have any special insight here whatsoever. But it sounds like there is a possibility if Favre leads the VIkings to their first Super Bowl title, he might ride away into the sunset–and not return. But we’ve been down that retirement road before and then he makes a U-turn. If his right shoulder is healthy, why not return for a 20th season? He sure looks like he’s enjoying himself and it’s more interesting in the NFC North with him around. Favre is 22-10 lifetime vs. the Bears.

*** Speaking of it being more interesting when someone was around … Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post had a story last week about the season ex-Bear Thomas Jones is putting together for the New York Jets. He enters today’s game with the Carolina Panthers on pace for career-high numbers–1,414 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns.

Impressive numbers, yet Jones is rarely in the conversation about the NFL’s top backs despite the fact that he went to the Pro Bowl last season. I think the people that know, that really watch the game, know how good Thomas is, Jets left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson said. When those people sit down and talk about the top backs in the league they cannot have that conversation without mentioning Thomas. There have been countless games where defenders will come up to him and give him his props and say, ‘Hey, you’re a heck of a back and I want to let you know that.’

As Cannizzaro notes, since Jones put the Bears’ offense on his back in 2005, only San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson has rushed for more yards–6,319 to 5,860.

Check back later on when there will be some updates from the Metrodome. We’ll be able to check in on the status of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and wide receiver Percy Harvin, who both fell ill late last week. Peterson is listed as questionable. We’ll also check on cornerback Antoine Winfield, who is supposed to return after a four-game absence that was due to a foot injury.

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