Blake Baratz, the agent for Packers TE Jermichael Finley, released a statement regarding his clients beck injury and potential surgery options, via Pro Football Talk.
We have spent countless hours over the past few weeks meeting with the top spine specialists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons throughout the country to gather information and opinions regarding Jermichael Finley’s spinal-cord injury. Since Mr. Chmura decided to speak out publicly and inaccurately regarding this situation, we felt that it would be best to clarify the facts on Jermichael’s behalf. First and foremost, Jermichael’s long-term health is our primary concern. While his return to professional football is a hot topic of conversation, his ability to live a long and fulfilling life with his loved ones is by far and away our main objective.
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.
Jermichael and his family appreciate all of the love and support they have received, and simply ask that we all respect their privacy during his recovery process. Jermichael promises to keep everyone updated over the coming days, weeks, and months.
Former Packers TE Mark Churma mentioned during a radio interview that Finley will undergo surgery this week and it’s likely that his career is over, so it’s not surprising to see Finley’s agent offer a clarification regarding his client.
Finley has maintained that he expects to play in the NFL again at some point, but he will be an unrestricted free agent following the season and there will be concerns from NFL teams regarding his future. This surgery will hopefully give him an opportunity to return to the field at some point.