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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Plays that shaped the season: No. 3

By Rob Demovsky

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers were on the field for more than 2,000 plays combined on offense and defense this season and several hundred more on special teams.

As we look back on the season, we will examine 10 plays, subjectively chosen, as the ones that most shaped the Packers’ season that ended with the 23-20 NFC wild-card playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.

The list, so far, in reverse order:

No. 10: Micah Hyde’s near interception against the 49ers.

No. 9: Enter Matt Flynn in relief against the Vikings.

No. 8: Johnathan Franklin’s fourth-and-1 fumble against the Bengals.

No. 7: Eddie Lacy’s 60-yard run against the Cowboys.

No. 6 (and 6a): Sam Shields’ interception in the fourth quarter against the Cowboys (and Tramon Williams’ interception against the Cowboys in the fourth quarter).

No. 5: Clay Matthews breaks his thumb against the Lions.

No. 4: Randall Cobb fractures his tibia against the Ravens.

Here’s No. 3:

Date: Oct. 20, 2013.

Location: Lambeau Field.

Game: Packers vs. Browns.

The play: 10-yard catch by tight end Jermichael Finley in the fourth quarter.

Why it mattered: Finley was on pace for a monster season when it ended in scary fashion. At the end of 10-yard reception, Finley got hit by Browns safety Tashaun Gipson. The game was delayed for six minutes while medical personnel attended to Finley, who was motionless for a short time. Gipson was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play. Referee Jeff Triplette said Gipson led with his helmet. Finley was carted off the field and taken to an area hospital, where he remained for four days after being diagnosed with a bruised spinal cord. After extensive medical exams, Finley was placed on injured reserve and underwent spinal fusion surgery. He has said he intends to play again, but it’s unknown whether the Packers’ doctors will clear him. He also is scheduled to become a free agent in March. The Packers lacked a big-play threat from their tight ends after Finley's injury.

Quotable: “He couldn’t move at the time,” said Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, who was the first to reach Finley after the hit. “So I just told him, just stay here, just lay here, don’t move. … That look he had in his eyes, that was something that stuck with me. It really hurt me just to see him like that.”