Former Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley got great news recently, and on Thursday his agent shared it with the football world. The 27-year-old has been medically cleared by his doctor after suffering a spine injury during the 2013 season.
For those unaware, Finley had his C3-C4 vertebrates fused by Pittsburgh neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon after taking a scary hit during the Packers’ Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns. He suffered a bruised spinal cord, missed the rest of the season, and for several hours it appeared things could wind up being much worse.
Finley still has to be cleared by the team doctors of any franchise that signs him, but still it’s a first step for the incredibly talented tight end. Given his raw ability, you’ve got to think someone will take a chance on bringing Finley in. He already met with the Seattle Seahawks in March and the New York Giants – who desperately need help at tight end – are already interested.
If Finley can get cleared by doctors with the Packers and sign a reasonable contract, the team will almost certainly want him back. He was really coming on during the early part of the 2013 season and was an integral part of the team’s offense from 2009 until his injury last season.
While his hands have been inconsistent during his career, the 6-5, 247-pound Finley is an athletic target who can get down the field and find gaps in defenses. That’s not easy to find at the tight end position.
The Packers selected Finley in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft and he has racked up 223 catches, 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns in his six-year career.
If a team’s doctors can clear him, he shouldn’t be on the market long. But regardless of the football angle of this, it’s just good to know that Finley is healthy after such a scary injury.