GREEN BAY, Wis. — After 20 hours of uncertainty regarding the status of Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and the neck injury he suffered Sunday, there are some signs of good news. According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, Finley will be released from the hospital’s intensive care unit Monday and that he was able to do some walking around earlier in the day.
It was a scary scene Sunday for Finley as the 26-year-old was motionless on the ground in the middle of Lambeau Field after a hit. Trainers rushed to Finley’s aid, sliding him onto a gurney and bringing him into the tunnel area where an ambulance was waiting to take him to the hospital.
During the six-minute delay, Finley’s teammates tried to cope with what they were seeing.
“I ain’t going to lie, man; I ain’t cried in long time, but I definitely shed a tear for him,” tight end Andrew Quarless said after the game. “That’s my brother. First of all, I should say he’s my friend, but that’s my brother on the ground — a guy that I’m with every day in the same room. Me personally, that kind of messed me up for a little second, but I knew I had to be strong for him but also for my team and just stay in there, stay locked in.”
Quarless was the first to approach Finley on the field and was initially going to try to help him up. That was until Quarless instead realized that he needed to advise Finley not to move.
“That look he had in his eyes, that was something that stuck with me” Quarless said. “It really hurt me just to see him like that.”
There was some immediate good news, though: Finley had feeling and movement in all of his extremities. Packers players were also informed during the game of Finley’s positive medical update.
“It’s a reminder how tough this game is,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “We put our bodies on the line, our future health on the line and obviously with Jermichael, he was playing really well. He’s a great friend, great teammate. He’s had a very good year for us. Injuries are a part of the game, but those are tough to see.
“Not being able to walk off the field — I know in the back of our minds — is kind of our worst nightmare.”
Finley was injured after a 10-yard completion early in the fourth quarter when Cleveland Browns safety Tashaun Gipson connected with what appears to be shoulder-to-head contact. Gipson was penalized 15 yards for leading with his helmet.
Finley was on the left side of his body after the hit and did not move from that position. Trainers unscrewed Finley’s facemask as they slowly worked him onto the gurney.
“It makes you sick,” wide receiver Jordy Nelson said. “Just seeing a guy lay there, you start thinking a little bit.”
Rodgers, along with offensive linemen Josh Sitton and Evan Dietrich-Smith, were all on one knee while Finley was down. The 77,804 fans in attendance were almost completely silent.
Finley did not signal to the crowd as he was rolled out, but he was somewhat moving his hands while they were crossed on his chest.
“That’s honestly the first time it really got me,” Nelson said. “I didn’t like what I saw. Hopefully he’ll be all right.”
Finley suffered a concussion earlier this season, later saying in a video on his personal website that his son told him not to play football anymore.