Less than 24 hours after losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers for an unspecified amount of time to a broken collarbone, the Green Bay Packers released far less surprising injury news, announcing that tight end Jermichael Finley will be placed on injured reserve, ending his 2013 season. The team has activated offensive tackle Derek Sherrod from the reserve/physically unable to perform list.
Finley suffered a bruised spinal cord on Oct. 20 in a Packers-Browns game when he was tackled over the middle by Cleveland safety Tashaun Gipson. Finley remained motionless on the field for several minutes and was eventually stretchered off the field. Head coach Mike McCarthy said on the Oct. 21 that while Finley's injury was significant, it was too early to provide a timeline for his return. Finley spent the first 24 hours after the injury at an intensive care unit in the Green Bay area.
"One of his biggest things was, 'I'm going to get back,'" Packers tight end Andrew Quarless told ESPN's Ed Werder of Finley's intent to return to the field. "That's in any of us. Anytime any guys go down, I mean this is what we love to do, so that's the first thing [Finley asked]. 'When am I going to get back? What's the timetable?' and stuff like that. So that's a little bit of what [the doctors] talked about."
But in the end, letting Finley return to the field this year proved too dangerous. Finley recently wrote a first-person account of the injury and recovery process for the TheMMQB.com that was both compelling and frightening.
"Right now, the recovery timeline is still uncertain, so we don’t know yet if this injury will end my season," he wrote. "Obviously the most important thing for me right now is to rest, and to let the contusion heal. After that, I will most likely go visit a handful of specialists around the country for thorough second and third evaluations of my neck and head. One thing that I know is that I am in great hands. I have a tremendous support system and this incident only made that clearer. I am blessed."
Selected by Green Bay in the third round of the 2008 draft out of Texas, Finley signed a two-year, $14 million contract extension in February 2012. He will be a free agent in 2014. He has caught 223 passes for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns in his NFL career. This is his second time on injured reserve -- he played five games in 2010 before suffering a torn meniscus.
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