Jermichael Finley excited to play again after spinal fusion surgery

Frank Schwab
February 6, 2014

Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley's agent is getting the ball rolling for his client.

Finley wants to be back with the Packers, agent Blake Baratz told the New York Post. He's not quoted linking his client potentially to the Giants, but plenty of dots are connected. The Giants need a tight end. Their new offensive coordinator is Ben McAdoo, who coached the Packers tight ends for six years. Giants safety Antrel Rolle has already tried recruiting him.

That's all normal, but there's one thing about Finley's upcoming free agency that's surely not: He's still recovering from spinal fusion surgery.

Finley's season ended on a huge hit by Browns safety Tashaun Gipson. He suffered a neck injury and spent some time in the intensive care unit. Then he had surgery to fuse together his C3 and C4 vertebrae. Despite how scary that sounds for a player who makes his living catching passes in the middle of the field, he wants to play tight end again.

“Jermichael is doing great, is working out, running routes, catching balls, and feels no different than he did pre-injury,’’ Baratz told the New York Post. “His fusion has to fully heal before he is 100 percent ready for contact, but we are all anticipating that occurring in the coming weeks. Jermichael is a rare breed that creates a mismatch for defenses. Whenever you have a player that can do that he is a valuable asset.’’

Even if Finley didn't feel the same as he did before the injury, it's not exactly good for business to say so publicly. Finley will have to be cleared medically by whatever team signs him, so he'll need to prove he's fully healthy.

Finley could come back. Peyton Manning won a MVP award after spinal fusion surgery, and he's one of many who have come back after similar surgery. Given everything that Finley has been through in the last few months, hopefully he has a success story similar to Manning's return.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!