Chmura boldly declared that Finley’s career is most likely over because of a bruised spinal chord he suffered in week eight. He even went on to say that he’d bet “his house” that Finley is at least done in Green Bay.
The Packers former tight end may turn out to be right. Finley’s future in Green Bay, let alone the NFL, remains in question. However, it’s way too early to make any definitive declarations about Finley’s career.
To combat the rumors spiraling from Chmura’s comments, Finley’s agent, Blake Baratz, released a statement to Pro Football Talk Wednesday regarding Finley’s career.
In his statement, Baratz made it clear he’d like to address Finley’s situation in light of Chmura’s comments. Baratz stated that Finley has seen numerous “specialists . . . throughout the country” to get as many opinions they can on his spinal-cord injury. Baratz emphasized that Finley’s “long-term health” is their primary concern and that they’ve decided to it was in Finley’s best interest to undergo surgery to help “alleviate future risks” or “re-injury.”
It was ultimately Finley’s decision to undergo spinal fusion surgery with Dr. Joseph Maroon. Maroon is one of the more highly regarded neurosurgeons in the NFL and believes Finley can fully recover following the surgery and resume his career, according to Baratz.
Baratz further refuted Chmura’s comments by ending his statement by boldly stating that Finley “has every intention of resuming his football career.” And it appears Finley is taking the right course of action to make a return possible.
Despite reports and outside speculation, at this point it is clear that Finley plans to play again. Whether that be in Green Bay or somewhere else in the NFL remains to be seen.
Finley is in his last year of his contract and counted $8.75 million against the Packers 2013 salary cap before being placed on injured reserve. It will be tough call for the Packers this offseason whether to resign the athletic tight end or let him walk in free agency.
Players with Finley’s ability don’t come around very often, but it’s hard to determine at this point how Ted Thompson and the organization will feel investing money in a player coming off a major spinal injury.
Either way, Finley plans on continuing his career. It would be great to see him don the Green and Gold again, but at this point, what is more important is that he get’s healthy so he can live a good life and have a chance to continue doing what he loves.