GREEN BAY – Mike McCarthy is still holding out hope that Jermichael Finley will be medically cleared to resume his football career, and when he does, he’ll do it with the Green Bay Packers.
Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday, McCarthy reiterated what he’d said following the draft: That the Packers are monitoring Finley’s comeback from a career-threatening spinal cord injury suffered last October as he seeks doctors’ OK to play football again after single fusion cervical spine surgery.
“In my mind he is a Green Bay Packer – hopefully,” McCarthy told SiriusXM co-host Rich Gannon, who’d mentioned Finley in a question about the second of the team’s two third-round draft picks, California tight end Richard Rodgers. “[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.”
After the draft ended on Saturday, McCarthy said team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie is in contact with Finley and Dr. Joseph Maroon, who performed his surgery. Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly, who like Finley suffered a neck injury that required spinal fusion surgery, remains on the unrestricted free agent market as Finley does.
“I’ll say this about Jermichael and Johnny: First and foremost, I just want them to be healthy,” McCarthy said Saturday. “And then with that, they’re obviously our players and we have strong interest in. We’ll see what happens after that. But I’m just being in communication with Dr. McKenzie and we’re watching their health situation.”
Packers general manager Ted Thompson said the selection of Rodgers and the possibility of moving on without Finley weren’t “necessarily … tied at all. We were just trying to pick a good player.”
Asked if he was still hoping Finley could return, Thompson replied, “Yeah, I mean we all hope for that, that everybody will be fine. We don’t know. We’ll see.”
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