With fractured ankle taped, Favre returns to practice field
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was on the field for drills Friday for the first time this week. He had tape on his left ankle, which has two fractures, threatening his ability to play on Sunday at New England. Favre threw a few easy passes in warm-ups, but he didn't roll out or take any deep drop-backs while reporters were allowed to watch. At one point, someone tossed a ball Favre's way as he lightly jogged up the field and he was nimble enough to make a stutter-step catch after a slight jump. Coach Brad Childress has said he won't let Favre's streak affect the decision on whether to play the 41-year-old quarterback, who has started an NFL-record 291 consecutive games. Favre has both a stress fracture and an avulsion fracture in the foot, which was hurt in Sunday's loss at Green Bay.
More NFL notes: Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel missed practice for a third straight day because of a sore left hamstring and is doubtful for Sunday night's game against the New Orleans Saints. … Houston Texans owner Bob McNair ordered the team's staff to go through the locker room to make sure no players are using banned substances. USA Today first reported that the Texans had staff members remove any products from lockers that are not approved by the NFL. Two of Houston's players — left tackle Duane Brown and linebacker Brian Cushing — served four-game suspensions for different violations of the league's policy on banned substances. … Sunday's San Francisco-Denver game marks the fourth regular-season game to be played in London, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the success of the previous three sellouts has buoyed his hopes to succeed with his ultimate expansion goal — having a full-time franchise in London. "Each year, the different barometers indicate that our popularity continues to rise," Goodell said in London. "I think the next step will be multiple games [in Europe]. And if that's successful, then I think the idea of a franchise here is realistic." Goodell would not give any hints about a timeline for putting a team in London "other than as fast as is practical. Once we've got the logistics, which I think we have, then it's just a question of the growth of the marketplace," Goodell said. "And that's where we believe playing multiple games will demonstrate that there is a strong foundation for American football. Fans want to see it, there are partners that will support it. … And when you can get to that point, I think you've given yourself a great deal of confidence that a franchise here would be successful."
Maryland women's basketball No. 21 in preseason AP poll
The Maryland women's basketball team is ranked No. 21 in the 2010 Preseason Associated Press poll. The Terps have begun six of their past seven seasons ranked in the AP Top 25. Maryland earned 134 points to earn a spot in the first ranking of the season. The Terrapins will face at least four ranked opponents this year: No. 13 Georgetown and Atlantic Coast Conference opponents No. 6 Duke, No. 15 North Carolina and No. 18 Florida State. The Terps could face No. 14 St. John's on Dec. 29 in the annual Terrapin Classic. ACC schools Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and Miami also received votes.