One of the lasting images of last week’s action was Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, strapped to a gurney and motionless.
The guy on the other end of the violent collision that left him that way can’t get the image out of his mind, while acknowledging that he might be in a similar situation soon.
Browns safety Tashaun Gipson said he’s praying for Finley, and has reached out to him via text message. But as much sympathy as he feels, Gipson also said he’s not sure he can or would do anything differently the next time he has to hit someone.
“Right now, I’m at the point in my career where I don’t know how to change,” Gipson said, via Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I could come up and tap somebody and they could run over me and run through me all game. I’d be cut next season, or I could do my job.
“Like I said, we’ve all got a job out there. His job is to catch the ball and get it to the end zone by any means and my job is to get him on the ground.”
That might sound insensitive, but that’s not what Gipson was trying to convey.
“You definitely never want to see something like that happen,” he said. “To hear the latter effects of it, it’s definitely unfortunate. All I can do is keep him in my prayers.
“I know he has family and he has kids. I’ve got kids. I know I wouldn’t want one of my kids to see their dad like that.”
Gipson (who also made the tackle that resulted in a knee injury for Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel earlier this year) insisted he wasn’t a dirty player, and took the path of pragmatism when asked how he’d handle the next opportunity to tackle.
“I’ll just continue to try to play how I’ve been playing,” Gipson said. “Hopefully, nobody else gets hurt, including myself.”
That’s the part of the bargain few players want to consider, because it could easily change the way they play. And Gipson’s right, in that the Browns wouldn’t hesitate to fire him if he suddenly became a passive player.