ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Arthur Moats would prefer seeing Brett Favre start his 298th consecutive game this weekend.
The Buffalo Bills rookie linebacker has mixed emotions on whether he wants to be remembered as the guy who ended the Minnesota Vikings quarterback’s NFL-record starting streak.
“I don’t want to see anybody hurting and not playing any more. If he plays, that would be a good thing,” Moats said Monday. “But if he doesn’t, and I was the guy to end the streak, all right. That’s a little notable, yeah.”
Moats has become the focus of attention after he hit Favre square in the back and sent him to the turf on the third play from scrimmage in Buffalo’s 38-14 loss on Sunday. Favre did not return and was diagnosed with a sprained joint in his throwing shoulder, leaving his status unsure for this weekend’s game against the New York Giants.
“I didn’t want to hurt him, but it just happened,” Moats said. “During the play, you’re not thinking like, ‘Oh man, that’s Brett Favre.’ You’re just thinking, ‘That’s a quarterback. My job is to sack him.’”
Moats said Favre let out a moan just as he was hit, and was surprised that the quarterback was injured on the play.
It wasn’t until after the game, when Moats noticed the numerous text messages and voice mails left on his cell phone, that he began to realize how potentially significant the hit was, or how many times it had been replayed on television.
“Everybody’s been going crazy about it,” Moats said. “But it comes with the job, so I’m not going to complain about it.”
Selected in the sixth round out of James Madison, Moats has been getting additional playing time in a linebacking group that’s lost three starters to injuries this season.
In 11 games, he’s been credited with eight tackles and a half sack.
Bills coach Chan Gailey said Moats is expected to get more playing time after starter Reggie Torbor was placed on injured reserve last week, and reserve Antonio Coleman was added to the list on Monday.
As for the hit on Favre, Gailey said it’s only getting attention because of the player that was involved.
“It’ll be a great trivia question in 15 years or so, but it was just another play in the game, to be honest with you,” Gailey said.
And Gailey is rooting for Favre’s streak to continue.
“You’re always pulling for a guy like that who’s done so much for the game and meant so much for the game,” Gailey said.
Investigation hitting snag
MINNEAPOLIS — A spokesman for the former Jets game hostess who allegedly received inappropriate phone messages and photos from Brett Favre said Tuesday he is concerned that the quarterback will be retired before the NFL concludes its investigation.
Jennifer Sterger’s manager, Phil Reese, said his client wants the investigation finished during the season because Favre has said he will retire at the end of this year, at which point he may no longer be susceptible to punishment from the league.
The NFL said it is continuing to work on the case, which first popped up more than two months ago.
“It is a complex situation that has involved a great deal of due diligence,” spokesman Greg Aiello said. “We are trying to wrap it up as soon as possible and will notify everyone appropriately when a conclusion is reached.”
Reese and Sterger’s attorney, Joseph Conway, said they grew concerned early this week when they said NFL officials stopped returning their calls. That led them to believe that the NFL has decided not to punish Favre.
“Everything we’ve seen over the last day and a half has been very, very troubling,” Reese said.
Aiello said no decisions have been made, and Reese said Tuesday afternoon they had heard from the league.
Favre allegedly sent Sterger the messages and photos when both worked for the New York Jets in 2008. The quarterback has not commented on the allegations.
“We’re of the belief that when you see these materials that it’ll be crystal clear that he overstepped his bounds,” Conway said.
Favre, who now plays for the Minnesota Vikings, has said several times this season that this will be the last year of his career. The Vikings (5-7) have four games left in the regular season and are a long shot to make the playoffs.
Reese, whose concerns were first reported by the Sports Business Journal, said the NFL has not informed them of any timetable for a conclusion to the investigation.
“Hope is not a plan,” Reese said. “But as of right now we have no choice but to hope the league does the right thing.”