GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is on his way back to Green Bay due to the birth of a child and will miss Thursday night’s preseason game in Cincinnati against the Bengals, according to his Twitter account.
“A blessing has came into the world,” Finley tweeted Thursday morning. “Sorry Fans. 88 is Heading back to GB from Cinny to take care of my Family. #Family1st”
Finley missed the Packers’ first two preseason games due to a quadriceps injury but was expected to play Thursday after returning to practice earlier this week.
This game is an opportunity for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s starting offense to play an entire half together in preparation for the regular season, which is 17 days away. The starters have played no more than one quarter in each of the first two preseason games, and the offense has struggled in the absence of Finley and Greg Jennings (concussion), who will get his first preseason action Thursday.
With Finley unavailable, reserve tight ends such as D.J. Williams, Tom Crabtree and Ryan Taylor will get more opportunities with Rodgers and the first-team offense.
Finley, 25, signed a two-year, $15 million contract extension with the Packers this offseason after setting a career best with 767 receiving yards and tying a career best with 55 catches in 2011.