Finley to miss tonight’s game because of birth of child

Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley (88) is tackled by New York Giants strong safety Deon Grant (34) during the first half of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field. The Giants won 37-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

It’s been a difficult task to get Jermichael Finley on the football field for a game this season and it looks like it just got a bit more difficult.

Finley, who has been nursing injuries since the start of Training Camp and hasn’t suited up for a single preseason game yet, will miss tonight’s game against the Bengals because of the birth of a child.

“A blessing has came into the world,” Finley tweeted this morning. “Sorry Fans. 88 is Heading back to GB from Cinny to take care of my Family. #Family1st”

Of course, you can’t blame the guy for placing his family first above the team – I know we would all do the same thing.

Finley has been hampered so far by a concussion and a quadriceps strain. Though he was scheduled for a great deal of playing time tonight, that will have to take a back seat. We all know that that third preseason game has become the point in Training Camp when teams give their starters the most significant amount of playing time – at least the first half. However, with Finley back in Green Bay it’s going to be impossible to get him on the field in Cincy.

So instead of getting the opportunity to get his timing down with Aaron Rodgers (remember when Finley said he wasn’t on the same page as the best player in the NFL?), the Packers and their fans will get the chance to see more of D.J. Williams, Tom Crabtree and Ryan Taylor.

In my mind, that’s not a bad thing because Finley, who signed a two-year $15 million contract extension with the Packers this offseason, might not be around for the second year of that contract if he continues to miss opportunities to be on the field. Don’t get me wrong. I feel Finley has the potential to be the best at his position, not only for the Packers, but among those across the entire league. But he has to play and he has to get in synch with his quarterback. If he doesn’t, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Packers shopping him around.

And that’s despite a career best 767 receiving yards and tying a career best with 55 catches in 2011.

First off, he’s got to make it onto the field of play and secondly, he’s  got to limit his drops.

If he does that, he could be in for a huge payday – whether it’s with the Packers or not remains to be seen.

In the meantime, we say congratulations, Jermichael. We hope to see you next week.

Topics: Green Bay Packers, Jermichael Finley, Training Camp

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