That’s because he was being carted off the frozen tundra on a stretcher.
Prior to the Packers game last October against the Cleveland Browns, Finley went down earlier in the year with a head injury and when he crumpled to the turf after a brutal hit to the head against the Browns, my first thought was that he was once again concussed.
But it was worse than that.
Finley suffered a neck injury that not only kept him out for the remainder of the 2013 season, it required spinal fusion surgery that has left his career in limbo.
But don’t tell that to McCarthy, who seems to be Finley’s biggest cheerleader these days. At least it appears that way.
The Packers head coach recently told Rich Gannon on Sirius XM this: “[Finley] is going through a tough medical situation. I think we all recognize that it was a serious injury. My understanding is he is doing everything and beyond to get himself ready. We’ll continue to watch that.”
So do the Seattle Seahawks. Finley visited that team during free agency and left the coffee capital with a handshake agreement that if he is ever cleared by doctors to play football again the Seahawks would have an interest in bringing him on board.
Don’t tell McCarthy that either.
It seems that even though the Packers drafted one tight end (Richard Rodgers), and brought in an undrafted free agent (Justin Perillo out of Maine), the Packers are still interested in Finley. And we won’t even mention that the Packers brought back Andrew Quarless in free agency and still have Brandon Bostick, Ryan Taylor and Jake Stoneburner on the roster.
But if Finley is healthy and the Packers can get him back to Titletown with a relatively inexpensive ticket – say for a single season – the team will definitely be better off.
In fact, when Finley went down last season, he had shown that he was on his way to his best season ever. The Packers saw that. Mike McCarthy saw that. We all saw that.
Clearly, things have changed since then. The Packers have to be cautious with this one. Finley might be cleared, but there is still risk. All it takes is another hit to the head.
If Finley doesn’t make it all the way back to the NFL, the Packers have positioned themselves to have the right guys in place at the position. If Finley does make it back and indeed returns to Titletown, there will be at least one person, Mike McCarthy, whose dreams might come true.
With this one, we all have to stay tuned.