Monday, October 21, 2013
More tests for Packers' Finley after neck injury
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers tight end Jermichael Finley suffered a significant neck injury in the win over the Browns and needs more tests to determine the severity.
But coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that Finley was upbeat and "performing daily activities."
"Jermichael Finley suffered a significant injury," McCarthy said at Lambeau Field. "As far as the injury, the specifics of it ... there (are) a lot of, more studies that are going on, opinions to be heard."
Finley was taken to a hospital after being carted off the field in the fourth quarter following the hit on a 10-yard catch during the 31-13 victory by Cleveland safety Tashaun Gipson, who was whistled for unnecessary roughness.
McCarthy was unsure how long Finley would be in the hospital. And while McCarthy said it was premature to give a timeline on Finley's return, it appears Green Bay might be without him for a while.
"Jermichael is very, very upbeat, very positive," McCarthy said. "Always has a smile on his face, so I mean he's focused on what's most important, that's his health and his family."
McCarthy said he had reviewed the film and that he "didn't think it was a dirty play."
Said right tackle Don Barclay in the locker room: "It was a football play. It was just bad to see it happen."
As hard as it may be after such a scary sight, the Packers (4-2) will look forward. They're back atop the NFC North after winning three straight and head to Minnesota next week for a Sunday night game.
"You know, everyone is sad for" Finley, Barclay said. "But we've got to move on ... Everyone is praying for him. It's great to hear that he's coming along, everyone is just anxious to get him back."
Green Bay is getting used to losing players. Among other key Packers out for the Browns game were linebackers Clay Matthews (thumb), Nick Perry (foot) and Brad Jones (hamstring); and receivers Randall Cobb (leg) and James Jones (knee).
There's at least some good news on James Jones, who got hurt two weeks ago in the 19-17 win over the Ravens.
Initially thought to be sidelined about two or three weeks, McCarthy left open the possibility that the receiver could practice this week. He hopes to know more Wednesday.
"James is not your normal guy. He's genetically gifted, so we'll see what happen," McCarthy said.
As of now, it's just Jordy Nelson left standing from the standout quartet of options for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
On Sunday, little-used reserve Jarrett Boykin stepped up with career-highs of eight catches and 103 yards in getting the start with Jones and Cobb out.
At linebacker, Jamari Lattimore (12 tackles) played well in place of Brad Jones, while McCarthy described Andy Mulumba and Nate Palmer as "solid" in helping to fill in for Matthews and Perry.
That was key given that top sub Mike Neal had been questionable through the week with a bruised shoulder but ended up playing.
Now it seems someone is going to have to fill in for Finley. With 25 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns, the 6-foot-5 Finley was having a good season.
At tight end, Green Bay also has veteran Andrew Quarless; second-year pro Brandon Bostick; and rookie Jake Stoneburner, who was just signed off the practice squad last week.
Another tight end, Ryan Taylor, had a minor knee procedure last week, but McCarthy hopes Taylor will be ready for the Vikings.
No one will be asked to do the same things Finley does on the field, McCarthy said. Beyond the immediate concern of Finley's health, McCarthy has little choice but to accept the challenge of re-adjusting after losing another key player.
"It's a challenge that everyone in this league goes through," McCarthy said, "and hopefully this challenge will come to an end and we can just get healthy and we can continue to grow as a football team."
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