Finley's injury looks eerily familiar
Green Bay, WI -- I've been watching the Jermichael Finley hit that occured a few weeks ago and in "real" time the collision doesn't look that bad. Then I went frame-by-frame and it looks very similar to the way Nick Collins was hit a few years ago. Not the type of collision, but the way their heads get hit on the crown of the helmet and appear to sink down in towards their bodies.
If you can remember, Collins was carted off the field in a game against the Carolina Panthers back in 2011. Unfortunately, that was Collins' last game in the NFL. It was a freak play and a tragic way to end his career, as Collins was just starting to become one of the premier safeties in the league.
RB Johnathan Stewart was in the process of leaping over A.J. Hawk while Collins was in the middle of making a diving tackle. Stewart was on the descent of his leap and his thigh met the crown of Collins' helmet, pushing his head downwards into his neck. The result was a spinal injury that ended Collins' career.
I thought the hit by Browns' free safety Tashaun Gipson was a helmet-to-helmet blow to Finley's temple and that caused a concussion to the tight end. I've looked at it many times now and it appears to be the same type of hit that Collins took on top of the head, just at a higher and more powerful speed.
Gipson came in and legally hit Finley with his shoulder. The hit just timed out poorly for Finley because Gipson's shoulder impacted with the crown of the tight end's helmet, pushing his head down into the neck.
Sterling Sharpe suffered a similar injury in 1994. The crown of his head connected with an opposing player's helmet during a week 16 match up against the Atlanta Falcons. It looked like a harmless hit when it happened, but it ultimately ended Sharpe's career.
The Packers are currently deciding whether or not to place Finley on the injured reserve list, which would all but end his season. Finely is adamant that he will be back on the field in the near future, but don't be surprised if the Packer's put him on the IR by the end of the week.
In the NFL, neck, back and spinal injuries are sensitive cases that should be treated with absolute caution because, let's be completely honest, football is an incredibly violent sport. I would very much like to see the tight end out on the field catching passes just as much as the next fan. He is very talented and athletically gifted and I do not like typing this, but Jermichael Finley's career may be over.