GREEN BAY, Wis. — The hit that hospitalized Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has officially been deemed a clean play by the NFL.
A league spokesperson told FOXSportsWisconsin.com that Cleveland Browns safety Tashaun Gipson was not fined for the shoulder-to-head contact that caused Finley to suffer a spinal contusion.
Throughout this week, several Packers coaches mentioned how they had no issue with Gipson’s hit on Finley.
“I didn’t think it was a dirty play,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I thought it was two guys playing football, or three guys that were involved in the collision.”
Added tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot: “I thought it was clean. It looked like the safety that was coming in to make the hit really did his best to keep his head out of it and it almost looked like, I couldn’t tell what happened right there at that moment, but looking back at the tape, it looked like he almost turned his back to Jermichael and Jermichael’s crown on his helmet hit the safety on the back of the shoulder. To me, it wasn’t maliciously intended. He was just trying ot make a play.”
Finley fell to the ground at the conclusion of the play and didn’t move. A stretcher was brought to the middle of the field, which carried Finley to a waiting ambulance in the tunnel area of Lambeau Field. Finley spent the first 24 hours in the intensive care unit and was at the hospital for an additional four days after that.
While Finley’s playing status is far from being known, there were increasingly encouraging signs this week that he was improving.
“I saw Jermichael this morning; he looks good,” McCarthy said Friday. “He looked like a dang movie star walking in there with sunglasses. It was good to see him. Big smile on his face. It’s great to have him back in the building. My understanding is the tests that have been done; they will continue to do more tests. That information is being sent to the specialist and then we’ll have to make a decision at a certain time.”