For the second time this season, Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley was hurt after being hit in the head. The first time against the Cincinnati Bengals, Finley was hit over the middle on a helmet to helmet hit to the head. He suffered a concussion on the play and didn’t return until two weeks later against the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Finley will be able to return any time soon from the second injury.
Last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, Finley caught a pass from Aaron Rodgers and before going to the ground, Browns safety Tashaun Gipson drilled Finley in the helmet with his shoulder, knocking Finley out cold. Unlike when he was hurt against the Bengals, Finley did not get up on his own. He had to be carted off of the field on a stretcher, only able to give a little thumbs up to the Lambeau Field crowd. Finley suffered a bruised spinal cord from Gipson’s hit, and has just recently been able to walk on his own.
The debate for the Packers and for Finley is whether or not he should be put on season ending injured reserve, even though doctor’s said Finley could resume his playing career later on in the season. If the Packers were to allow Finley to come back at a later date, they could jeopardize his career if he were to suffer another blow to the head before his spine is 100% healed.
In my opinion, I think that the Packers should sit Finley for the rest of the year. Sure, he is a valuable asset to the Packers offense. But, when a man’s playing career and life are in the balance, those have to take priority over football. The best hope for the Packers is that Finley is able to make a full recovery and continue playing at the high level he has shown. This year, the Packers have shown the resilience to battle after many key players have gone down to less serious injuries than Finley’s. There’s no reason why they can’t continue to do the same without their tight end.