Jermichael Finley Injury: Updates on Free Agent TE's Neck and Recovery
Updates from Friday, July 25
ESPN's Rob Demovsky has the latest from Mike McCarthy on Finley's recovery and the Packers' interest in bringing the tight end back:
MM on Finley: We're still open to that. Obviously he's going through a medical situation. 1st and foremost you just want him to get healthy— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) July 25, 2014
Updates from Thursday, July 17
Jason Wilde of ESPN reported on Jermichael Finley's neck and his communication with the Green Bay Packers:
Finley once again echoed that sentiment on his Twitter account:
I Haven't Worked This Hard Since I Was 18. #IWillRiseAgain— Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88) July 17, 2014
Earlier on Thursday, Finley hinted at a potential return to the Green Bay Packers on Twitter:
Let's Try This Again. #GreenBay— Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88) July 17, 2014
Wilde reported the interest seems to be mutual:
The source emphasized that there was nothing imminent between Finley and the Packers, but that the team continues to monitor his health situation. Another league source said the Packers do remain interested in bringing back the veteran tight end if he is cleared medically by McKenzie. Finley received clearance from Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Pittsburgh Steelers doctor who performed the spinal fusion surgery in January, but Finley has yet to sign with a team after visiting the New England Patriots and New York Giants earlier this offseason.
Tom Demovsky of ESPN reported on Finley's status with the Packers following the tight end's tweet:
Can confirm from a second source that there's nothing new from the #Packers end with Finley, either.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) July 17, 2014
I do know that Finley has a non-football/non-medical related appointment in Green Bay tomorrow.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) July 17, 2014
Not sure what @JermichaelF88's "Let's try this again" tweet meant, but a source close to him said there's nothing new in his situation.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) July 17, 2014
Updates from Monday, July 14
Tom Pelissero of USA Today has the latest update on Jermichael Finley as he recovers from a serious neck injury:
Free agent tight end Jermichael Finley says he will undergo another round of medical tests Wednesday and send the results to all 32 teams in hopes of landing on a roster before training camp.
But after a workout Monday afternoon, Finley told USA TODAY Sports he intends to keep being patient and wait for an offer that can compel him to return from spinal surgery, rather than walking away and moving to collect a $10 million insurance policy.
"As long as I wait, you know and I know, guys are going to go down and the money's going to shoot up," Finley said, sitting in the weight room at WelleFast Elite Sports Training. "It's all a waiting game right now."
Updates from Wednesday, July 9
Jason Wilde of ESPN spoke to Jermichael Finley about his recovery:
More from @JermichaelF88: "Tell everybody I'm working as hard as I can to get back to Packer Nation.”— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) July 9, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, June 4
Chris Wesselling of NFL.com broke down the landscape surrounding Jermichael Finley and the teams interested in him:
The New England Patriots hosted Finley for a visit last Friday. The Packers still envision the tight end playing in Green Bay if his surgically repaired neck checks out.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders have also shown interest in Finley.
In fact, Rapoport adds that the free agent has visited the Steelers and been cleared by their team doctor, who also doubles as Finley's doctor.
Updates from Tuesday, June 3
Ed Werder of ESPN reports that the Packers aren't the only team interested in Finley's recovery:
Hearing Jermichael Finley visit to Patriots was exclusively for medical evaluation of his spinal fusion surgery.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) June 3, 2014
However, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the Seahawks aren't interested in the tight end:
As we (and plenty of others) try to figure out where free-agent tight end Jermichael Finley took a visit on Friday, we’ve learned he has one fewer suitor, despite being medically cleared to play.
Per a league source, the Seahawks are out of the Finley sweepstakes.
Updates from Thursday, May 29
Pro Football Talk passed along a major update in Jermichael Finley's health via his agent, Blake Baratz:
Agent Blake Baratz tells PFT Live that Dr. Maroon has given Jermichael Finley full medical clearance.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 29, 2014
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk had more from the discussion with Baratz:
Finley still has to be cleared medically by the doctors employed by a team interested in signing him. Baratz said Finley will be making a team visit on Friday; Baratz declined to name the team, citing a request made by the organization for silence. (Hello, Patriots.)
Baratz also explained that Finley ultimately must decide whether he wants to play. With a significant disability policy available if he doesn’t play, Finley may have a Door-Number-1-Door-Number-2-style decision to make regarding the potential financial outcome of not playing and collecting the insurance or playing and getting nothing.
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette broke down what that might mean for Finley and a potential deal with the Packers:
Finley gets medical clearance from one doctor, but that doesn't mean #Packers will clear him.— Mike Vandermause (@MikeVandermause) May 29, 2014
Rob Demovsky of ESPN has more on Finley:
MM: No medical updates, but as far as Jermichael personally, he was in town, but I didn't see him. Understand he's in great shape.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 29, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, May 28
Rob Demovsky of ESPN broke down the latest on Jermichael Finley's injured neck and a possible deal with the Packers:
Tight end Jermichael Finley is scheduled to meet with the Green Bay Packers' team doctors on Wednesday, but it is not an indication that he is on the verge receiving medical clearance or signing a new contract.
Demovsky added more details behind the exams on Finley's neck:
Source said Finley had plans to travel to GB w/his family. While in town will check in w/ #Packers docs b/c he has not seen them recently.— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 28, 2014
Finley's agent, Blake Baratz also spoke about his client's health:
Updates from Tuesday, May 27
Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel reporter Tyler Dunne has an update on Finley:
Jermichael Finley may have a future in Green Bay after all. The free agent tight end will undergo testing on his neck with the Green Bay Packers' medical staff Wednesday, according to a source.
“I just want them to be healthy,” McCarthy said recently of Finley and Johnny Jolly, who also underwent neck surgery. “And then with that, they’re obviously our players and we have strong interest in. We’ll see what happens after that. But I’m just being in communication with Dr. (Patrick) McKenzie and we’re watching their health situation.”
Updates from Saturday, May 24
Rob Demovsky of ESPN puts Finley's status into perspective:
You're referring to the tweet that Jermichael Finley posted in which he proclaimed that he had "Awesome News!" A few hours later, however, he tweeted something about a "minor setback" for a "major #comeback." I can tell you that after talking to several people about the matter after those tweets, that there has been no change in either his medical clearance or his contractual status with the Packers. Until the former changes, meaning the Packers' doctors give him the OK to return to the field, nothing will happen with the latter. And let's be clear about this: Even if Finley's doctor says it's safe for him to resume his career, that does not mean individual doctors for NFL teams will have the same opinion.
Updates from Thursday, May 22
Jermichael Finley updated fans on his health and progress as he tries to return to the NFL following his neck injury last season via his Twitter account:
Awesome News! #IWillRiseAgain— Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88) May 22, 2014
Finley later added:
Minor SetBack 4 A Major #Comeback— Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88) May 22, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, May 14
SiriusXM NFL Radio provides a synopsis of Packers head coach Mike McCarthy discussing Jermichael Finley's injury status and recovery:
Mike McCarthy on Jermichael Finley: In my mind he is a Green Bay Packer hopefully and he is going thru a tough medical situation. #Packers— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 14, 2014
Con't McCarthy on Finley: To my understanding he is doing everything and beyond to get ready and we will continue to watch that. #SXMNFL— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 14, 2014
Ted Thompson also spoke about the team's interest in Finley (via Tom Silverstein of the Journal-Sentinel):
Thompson would not rule out the return of tight end Jermichael Finley to the Packers despite the selection of Cal tight end Richard Rodgers in the third round.
Finley is still recovering from neck fusion surgery and has not gotten clearance from doctors to resume his career. To return to the Packers, he would have to clear their medical exam, which might be difficult to do given the caution they take with such injuries.
"I don't necessarily think the two are tied at all," Thompson said.
"We were just trying to pick a good player."
Updates from Tuesday, April 29
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has the latest on Jermichael Finley's neck:
TE Jermichael Finley expected to have tests done on his neck soon. Won’t know results for a few days, as they are sent to Pittsburgh— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2014
Free-agent tight end Jermichael Finley's recovery inches along, as he's due in Arizona for an X-ray to see when and if he may be cleared to play.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported the news. Finley's rehab has been going according to plan, but his possible return date remains unknown:
Jermichael Finley is scheduled for an X-ray tomorrow. MRI/CAT if checks out. Standard 6- to 8-week update. Keep doing it until he's cleared.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 27, 2014
Finley will have the X-ray in Arizona, where he's training, and send to Dr. Maroon in PIT. He's on track, just unclear when he'll be cleared— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 27, 2014
The 27-year-old was carted off the field back in October of 2013 after suffering a spinal injury. The idea that the injury may be career-ending was brought up shortly thereafter, illustrating the severity of the injury.
However, Finley could be getting back on a football field in 2014.
Between 2011 and 2012—his last two full seasons—he had 116 receptions for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns. Before going down in 2013, Finley had 25 receptions for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
There's no doubt that if healthy, he can be one of the best tight ends in the game. And at his age, he has plenty of productive seasons left, barring there are no lingering effects from the spinal injury.
Some team is likely to take a gamble on Finley this offseason, especially after encouraging news like this. As long as his recovery remains on track, he is a great buy-low candidate for an NFL team in need of an athletic pass-catcher at the position.