We told you about Mark Chmura’s comments on current Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley yesterday. Chmura said Finley was going to have surgery and wouldn’t play again.
Well, he was at least half right.
Finley will indeed undergo surgery — spinal fusion surgery — but he plans on playing again.
Finley’s agent, Blake Baratz, released a statement on Wednesday saying as much.
Regarding Jermichael’s specific injury, it is important to note that expert opinions differ across the board, from surgical procedures to rehabilitation methods to returning to contact sports. Working alongside the Packers organization, we have discussed and analyzed all of these opinions, as well as all of the potential scenarios moving forward. We have collectively determined that while surgery may not be 100% necessary, it is a proactive measure that should alleviate future risks with regards to a similar episode or re-injury. Jermichael has elected to undergo a spinal fusion with Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Pittsburgh Steelers team Neurosurgeon. Dr. Maroon is experienced in conducting this type of procedure on professional athletes in contact sports, and is confident that Jermichael will fully recover following the procedure. Once surgery has been completed, Jermichael has every intention of resuming his football career, and we fully support his efforts to do so.
While Finley may want to play again, this doesn’t necessarily mean he will.
As we’ve noted, Finley is in the final year of his contract with the Packers. So, even if he’s cleared to play, that doesn’t mean he’ll be back in Green Bay.
These things are a mixed bag, too.
Nick Collins underwent spinal fusion surgery and never played another down of NFL football. Peyton Manning did as well, sat out a year, and is now tearing shit up.
So can Finley return after having surgery? It’s not unprecedented, but it’s not guaranteed either.
In any case, we probably won’t know which way this will go until sometime next season.