Here’s what thought when just after he took the hit:
Is this God punishing me? Is this Karma? This was my initial thought when I was down on the field. I felt as if everything that I had ever done wrong came crashing down at me at that one moment.
His scariest moment:
I looked my teammate Andrew Quarless directly in the eye and whispered, “Help me, Q. I can’t move; I can’t breathe.” The scariest moment was seeing the fear in Q’s eyes. I knew something was wrong, but his reaction verified it. That really shook me up.
What he remembers from the doctors working on him on the field:
I actually had feeling in my legs, but I couldn’t feel much else. On the field, the doctors were going through regular procedures, testing me on sense and touch, and asking me a multitude of questions. But because I was a little panicked, I couldn’t breathe, which made it very difficult to answer. I remember one of the doctors telling me to “close my legs,” and I simply could not.
His memory of leaving the field:
When I was exiting the field at Lambeau, I tried to raise my hand to give the fans a thumbs-up, but I got about halfway and couldn’t raise my arm any further. I kept asking the neurosurgeon, “Will I walk again?” His answer was a definitive, “Yes, you are moving your legs right now.” Then I asked, “Will I use my arms again? Will I play football again?” To those questions, I simply got, “I cannot answer that yet.”
His emotional roller coaster after he first arrived in the ICU center of a local hospital:
The scariest part of the entire scenario was the unknown. I was having trouble breathing and speaking. I couldn’t move. I was taking all sorts of tests, and no one could give me any answers. There was some concern initially that I might need an immediate spinal cord surgery. The initial CT scan came back negative Sunday night, which meant no fracture in my neck. That was obviously tremendous news, and a major blessing for my family and me.
Then he shared his feelings on football and how he wants to return to the field again:
Of course I plan to play football again. This is what I love to do. I love the game. I love Sundays. Based on the feedback I’ve received from doctors at this point, the question is not if I’ll play again, but when. There is no better feeling in the world than making the “Lambeau Leap” into the stands, and I fully intend on having that surreal feeling again soon.
Finley suffered a bruised spinal cord on the play and there’s no timetable yet on his return to action. Here’s hoping he’s able to fully recover and rejoin the Packers on the field.