ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. Arthur Moats would prefer seeing start his 298th consecutive game this weekend.
The rookie linebacker has mixed emotions on whether he wants to be remembered as the guy who ended the 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 .
“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.
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.