Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley suffered a neck injury and was taken off the field in a stretcher during Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns at Lambeu Field.
We don’t have any update on Finley’s status other than that the Packers have confirmed that it was a neck injury, he does have feeling in all extremities, and that he remains in a local hospital for more testing. As of early Monday morning, ESPN is reporting that Finley remains in the intensive care unit at the hospital.
After catching a pass in the second half, Finley was met by Browns safety Tashaun Gipson. Gipson appeared to hit Finley’s shoulder area with his helmet as Finley was ducking in anticipation of contact.
Immediately after, Finley lay motionless on the field as he was tended to by trainers. He was carted off the field on a stretcher and the Packers will now await more information on the severity of the injury.
From here the Packers are once again faced with game planning to be without one of their top offensive weapons. After losing starting receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb last week, the team bumped receiver Jarrett Boykin into the starting lineup and promoted practice squad receiver Myles White.
Both Boykin and White saw time with the team’s offense against Cleveland, but neither come close to replacing what was lost. Boykin made a few nice catches and seems to improve with increased playing time. White fumbled an onside kick attempt during the fourth quarter and that would have given the Browns the ball, were it not for a Cleveland penalty to negate the play.
Without Finley, that leaves the Packers with Jordy Nelson, Boykin, White, Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick and Jake Stoneburner at receiver and tight end. It is possible that James Jones could be available next week. He was a game-time decision this week and was held out. Tight end Ryan Taylor had knee surgery this past week and will be out at least a few more games.
It seems like a weekly theme around here as more and more is needed from the young and inexperienced on the Packers roster. The team has to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
While many remain cautiously optimistic that Finley will be OK and can return to the team soon, this does conjure up memories of Nick Collins and his neck injury back in 2011. Collins was taken off the field on a stretcher and was eventually released from the hospital to accompany the team on their flight home. It seemed as though Collins may have dodged a bullet, but as we know, he did not.
That’s not to say that I think Finley has suffered any type of career-threatening injury to his neck. That is for the team doctors to determine. But I’ll steal a Mike McCarthy-ism and say I’m merely taking the “high side of caution”. The Packers don’t tend to return their injured players quickly at all. To say that Finley most likely won’t play next week at Minnesota seems like a safe bet, based on the team’s history. We will have an update as soon as one becomes available.
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason Perone: