Jermichael Finley might be going from former fantasy football icon to 26-year-old retiree. There's no way to plan for how an injury will go, but this one isn't looking good.
UPDATE:In a statement released Wednesday, Finley's agent Blake Baratz stressed that the tight end's impending surgery was not required, but is instead a preventative procedure to help ensure Finley's eventual return to the NFL.
"We have collectively determined that while surgery may not be 100% necessary, it is a proactive measure that should alleviate future risks with regards to a similar episode or re-injury," Barantz said.
He said Finley has "every intention of resuming his football career."
Jermichael Finley suffered a gruesome neck injury on the field just three weeks ago that left him temporarily paralyzed. After making a quick recovery and walking out of the hospital, Finley was hopeful to suit up for the Packers again this season. Now it looks like he may never play another down in the NFL.
Finley, 26, suffered the injury in the second half of a win against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 20. Former Packers tight end Mark Chmura (1993-1999) told 540 ESPN Milwaukee on Tuesday that he recently spoke with Finley, who explained that he was set to undergo surgery on the C3 and C4 vertebratae in his neck. Chmura seems to think that might mean the end of Finley’s promising young career.
“I think it’s gonna be a Nick Collins deal,” Chmura said, via the National Football Post. “He’s definitely not gonna play in Green Bay, I’d put my house on that.”
Collins, 30, was a safety for the Packers from 2005 to 2011 who suffered a neck injury similar to Finley’s, and the three-time Pro Bowler was released by the team before the 2012 season after undergoing surgery.
Finley caught 223 passes for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns over the course of five-plus seasons in Green Bay. He had caught 25 passes for 300 yards and three scores through six games this year and will be a free agent after this season.