EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Brett Favre's latest problem is his elbow.
With the NFL investigating whether he sent lewd photos of himself to a former Jets employee while he played for New York in 2008, Favre said Wednesday that his cherished, league-record streak of 289 straight starts could be in danger if the pain in his right elbow gets any worse.
The Vikings quarterback did not practice, preferring to rest the tendinitis that flared up noticeably Monday night in a 29-20 loss to the Jets.
"I don't want to play just to play," Favre, 41, said. "It's kind of a funny injury. It could flare up and get worse."
Favre said it was his elbow, not the investigation, that hampered him against the Jets.
He completed 14 of 34 passes and grabbed his arm several times. He threw three touchdowns in the second half, but also threw an interception that was returned for a clinching touchdown.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that there is no timetable for completing an investigation into a report that Favre sent inappropriate messages and photos to Jenn Sterger, an FSU alum.
Saints see chance to improve run game
METAIRIE, La. — Through five games, the defending Super Bowl champions rank 31st in the NFL in rushing offense, averaging 75.6 yards per game, a figure Saints coach Sean Payton wants to see rise in a hurry.
They'll certainly have that chance as their opponent, the Bucs, are 30th in rushing defense, giving up 143.3 a game.
"When we've been clicking, we've had balance and we just haven't been throwing the ball," Payton said. "We do a lot of play-action and that's effective when you're running the ball efficiently. That's something that we'll continue to work on."
The status of running back Pierre Thomas (sprained left ankle) is unclear, while Reggie Bush (broken right leg) is expected to be out.
With injuries to other backs — Lynell Hamilton (right knee) and P.J. Hill (torn triceps), the Saints will rely on rookie Chris Ivory and veteran Ladell Betts, who was signed in Week 3. This week, Payton brought in Julius Jones.
The running game is "an area that we feel like we're going to improve on," Payton said. "We understand the importance of that aspect to what we do."
Bears: Quarterback Jay Cutler said he expects to start against Seattle after missing a game because of a concussion.
Browns: Coach Eric Mangini said he is leaning toward starting quarterback Colt McCoy because of ankle injuries to Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace. Meanwhile, running back Jerome Harrison was traded to the Eagles for running back Mike Bell.
Chargers: Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman was placed on injured reserve because of a calf injury and a "minor-injury designation." Merriman, 26, must be released once he's healthy, the team said. TThe Chargers could re-sign him, but general manager A.J. Smith has not been a fan of Merriman's celebrity-leaning lifestyle. … Left tackle Marcus McNeill agreed to a five-year extension through 2015 believed to be worth $48.5 million, with $24.5 million guaranteed.
Eagles: Coach Andy Reid has not ruled out quarterback Michael Vick (rib cartilage) for Sunday against the Falcons. Kevin Kolb is expected to start, but Reid said Vick could return to practice by the end of the week.
Jets: Coach Rex Ryan will decide whether cornerback Darrelle Revis (sore left hamstring) will play at Denver after saying he should not have allowed Revis to make that call Monday vs. the Vikings. "It's going to be on me," Ryan said.
Packers: Tight end Jermichael Finley (right knee) and linebacker Nick Barnett (left wrist) had surgery, but the team may wait until next week to decide if they will go on the season-ending injured reserve list.
Raiders: Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder) sat out practice, so Jason Campbell is approaching the week as if he will start at quarterback against the 49ers.
Vikings: Receiver Randy Moss said he has forgiven the Cowboys for not drafting him 13 years ago. "I always forgive, but I never forget," said Moss, who takes it out on them on the field, where he is 7-0 vs. Dallas with 11 touchdowns.
Lockout worth billion: The NFL could lose $1 billion if there is a lockout after the March 3 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, even if the entire 2011 season is played, the Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper said the NFL could lose $400 million in March, when many season tickets are renewed, and another $500 million if preseason games are canceled. The Journal said each team could expect to lose about $8 million for every canceled home game.