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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Packers' Mike McCarthy optimistic about tight end Jermichael Finley


By on 2/23/2014 06:30:00 AM

Green Bay Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy is no stranger to the politics of NFL life. At the NFL Combine yesterday, McCarthy expressed confidence in the recovery process of soon to be free agent, tight end Jermichael Finley.

Finley underwent an extremely complicated surgery recently, fusing the C-3 and C-4 vertebra in his neck after suffering a painful jar to his head by Cleveland Browns' safety Tashaun Gipson way back in October.

As noted by Dan Hanzus of NFL.com, Finley's injury is similar to the neck injury suffered by Packers' safety Nick Collins during the 2011 season. Collins has not played a down in the NFL since.

Mike Morbeck, Wikimedia Commons

Finley's injury has been juxtaposed with Collin's, yet McCarthy points out that they are separate cases, with Finley having a more optimistic outlook than the three-time Pro Bowl safety did in 2011.
"(Packers physician Dr.) Pat (McKenzie) doesn't feel the same way about Jermichael as he felt about Nick," McCarthy said from the NFL Scouting Combine, according to ESPN.com. "So I'm very open and optimistic about Jermichael coming back. I think the specifics of their injuries are different."
Standing up for Finley was an intelligent move by McCarthy, and for a tight end that has openly stated that he would listen to the Seattle Seahawks if they came knocking , the future just became cloudy. Does Finley accept a contract offer from the Packers? It's conceivable that he receives a larger offer from the Packers due to teams like Seattle having all the leverage in negotiations because of the severity and fragility of the injury.

Finley's doctor has done everything but green-light the veteran tight end, giving him a 99.9% chance at a full recovery recently.

The public display of support by McCarthy was a smart move for one simple reason - it gives Finley the perception that the Packers still see him as their future tight end. Kudos to McCarthy for playing the game, and playing it well.


Follow Sean on Twitter @49ersDefenseWins and @AFCSouthInjury. Don't miss him on Facebook and Google Plus as well.


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