GREEN BAY, Wis. — Jermichael Finley’s 5-year-old son had a message for his father after the Green Bay Packers’ tight end suffered a concussion: ‘Daddy, I don’t want you to play football anymore.’
While the rest of the Packers players were in the midst of losing a Week 3 matchup on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, Finley was reeling from the effects of a shot he took to the head in the first quarter.
“When I came back to reality, when I got my senses, when I got my balance and my vision back, I picked up my phone and, of course, my wife had called probably at least 30-plus times,” Finley said in a video that he posted on his personal website.
Finley’s wife Courtney soon handed the phone to their son, Kayden, who delivered those chilling words that he’d prefer for his father to end his NFL career at the age of 26.
“That was a little hard to take,” Finley said in the video. “Hearing that from a 5-year-old, just knowing the violence and the intensity of the game and seeing his dad walk off the field like he did is, I would think, pretty hard for a family to see.”
Finley tried to jog off the field after the hit from Bengals safety George Iloka — who was fined $15,000 by the NFL, but he stumbled awkwardly before eventually taking a knee and letting trainers examine him.
“I looked to the sideline; all I saw was jerseys,” Finley said in the video. “I saw the yellow pants we wore, but I didn’t see no head or legs. Everybody was decapitated and my body was just on fire.”
In the locker room, Packers associate team physician Dr. John Gray gave Finley the news that his day was over.
“Dr. Gray told me you can do whatever you want, you can throw me across this training room if you want, but your butt is not going back into that game,” Finley said. “I said, ‘Actually, I do want to throw you across this locker room right now.’ But, at the end of the day, I know it’s all in my best interest to sit out and let the concussion settle down.”
With Green Bay coming off its bye with a 1-2 record and the Detroit Lions heading to Lambeau Field in Week 5, Finley doesn’t plan to take his son’s advice about calling it a career just yet.
“I’m not saying it’s a statement game or anything like that,” Finley said. “It’s a must win. It’s a game we should win.”