In an October 20 game against the Cleveland Browns, Finley lowered his head in anticipation of a hit from Cleveland’s Tashaun Gipson. The hit left Finley with a spinal cord contusion and in the Intensive Care Unit with thoughts that this play would be his last.
A month later, Finley had spinal fusion surgery (the C3 and C4 vertebrae in his spine fused together) as a proactive measure to guard against a reoccurrence of a similar episode and the neurosurgeon who performed Finley’s procedure, Joseph Maroon, has stated that there is a 99.9 percent chance the fusion will fully heal.
|By Mike Morbeck via Wikimedia Commons|
Finley awaits clearance to resume football activity and that could come in the next few days.
Finley has been training at Performance Enhancement Professionals facility in Arizona and reports are that he is ready. With spirits that never faltered, Finley’s strength, weight and timing are where it needs to be for him to get back to the game he loves.
Finley will be a free agent on March 11 and could still sign with the Pack. If he hits the open market, some teams might shy away from a TE with a fused neck.
On the flip side of the pigskin, Finley's size, speed and ability to snag the rock will have plenty of general managers breaking their necks to get him in uniform. The only question is what exit Finley will take.
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