Jermichael Finley: ‘I plan to play football again’

MMQB/Finley family
MMQB/Finley family

Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley gave a first-person account for Sports Illustrated’s The MMQB of what he’s been through since he was taken off Lambeau Field Oct. 20 on a stretcher.

“On the field, the doctors were going through regular procedures, testing me on sense and touch, and asking me a multitude of questions,” Finley wrote. “But because I was a little panicked, I couldn’t breathe, which made it very difficult to answer. I remember one of the doctors telling me to “close my legs,” and I simply could not. They ended up unscrewing my facemask before lifting me up on the stretcher. When I was exiting the field at Lambeau, I tried to raise my hand to give the fans a thumbs-up, but I got about halfway and couldn’t raise my arm any further. I kept asking the neurosurgeon, “Will I walk again?” His answer was a definitive, “Yes, you are moving your legs right now.” Then I asked, “Will I use my arms again? Will I play football again?” To those questions, I simply got, “I cannot answer that yet.”

Clearly there was a problem, and I was terrified.”

Finley explained his injury.

“I underwent a series of exams (CT scan, MRI, X-Ray, etc.) to determine the extent of the injury, He wrote. “Monday afternoon, our team doctors and my agent sent out copies to a half-dozen spine experts around the country. It may have looked like I had another concussion, after suffering one in Cincinnati last month, but it turns out the injury is what doctors have called a spinal cord contusion. The blow shocked my spine, and left me with a two-centimeter bruise on my spinal cord that should heal in time.”

The 26-year-old Finley wants to continue his NFL career.

“Of course I plan to play football again This is what I love to do. I love the game. I love Sundays. Based on the feedback I’ve received from doctors at this point, the question is not if I’ll play again, but when. There is no better feeling in the world than making the “Lambeau Leap” into the stands, and I fully intend on having that surreal feeling again soon. I will do everything in my power to rehab and get back to the player I have been, and improve into the player I know I can be.”

Finley is in the second season of a two-year, $14 million contract.  He wrote that he has a $10 million tax free disability insurance policy in place.

“While money has absolutely nothing to do with my decision to play, I can sleep at night knowing that regardless of what happens, my family is financially secure forever—maybe the biggest odds I’ll ever overcome. Disability insurance is never a fun conversation, and writing those annual checks to protect myself is tough. But now, more than ever, I understand the importance of protecting yourself, protecting your family, and protecting your future earnings.”

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  • Dave M

    Wow, nobody?? Hey this is for you J-Fin. Be well, take your time, get better and we’ll see you on the field. God Bless.

  • Russell C.

    Hang in there J. Fin. I hope you get well soon and fufill your goal of playing again. May God bless you and heal your body completely