Tashaun Gipson worried about Finley, but can’t pull up

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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.

27 responses to “Tashaun Gipson worried about Finley, but can’t pull up

  1. I found out for myself a long time ago, that if you try to not hurt someone, you will end up getting hurt yourself. If you play the game proper and within the rules, you have less chances of hurting yourself or someone else.

    Don’t lay off the hits, Gipson. The second you change your game is the time you get hurt.

  2. It’s unfortunate and we all obviously hope Finley can make a full recovery. No hard feelings.

    The Packers have moved on to rivalry week and are concerned with their next objective, which is beating the Bears next weekend.

  3. I would hope that no one is calling him dirty. As a Packer fan, I don’t see how it would have been. He hit Finley just as he should. It was a perfect storm of events with Finley ducking down while falling to the ground, and Gipson coming in when he did. You could see Gipson was upset while watching Finley down on the ground. I think all of us hope and pray for recovery for the sake of a great football player.

  4. There was nothing dirty about the hit, and upon seeing Gibson’s immediate reaction you could tell he was worried about Finley. A dirty player would not care if he hurts someone or sends them to the hospital.

  5. Packers fan here, I totally get where Gipson is coming from, never fun to see a player go down and feel the responsibility for it. However I do not believe he did anything wrong, yes there could have been a tackle with nobody being hurt probably, however in football its a physical game, and nobody expects a featherweight tackle to happen every time. Finley plays a rough game, and that has to go both ways I guess. Nobody was at fault for any of this in my opinion… However I really enjoy seeing a player have concern for another player even if they are playing against each other. Really shows that even a sport filled with aggression and brutal hits, the players can be soft at heart. Get better Finley!

  6. It seems like all the emphasis on the rules changes generally effect the safety position. They need to start paying these guys more money if they’re the only ones getting fined each and every week. I mean, seriously, what other position gets fined as much and then villified like they’re horrible people? If they hit someone in the head, they’re a “headhunter,” and if they go low, then they’re “shooting for someone’s knees.” This isn’t the same game it was 20 years ago. Sign a freak’n waiver if you want that $$$ and let the men who know what they’re getting into get rich and then live with the physical consequences.

    You can’t take the millions and then complain about the injuries. It’s part of the game. Quit wussifying this sport.

  7. Compare Gibson’s on the field actions as well as his words and actions off the field since the game to the actions-words-attitude of Meriweather.
    It is the night and day difference between a class football player doing the best he can and a piece of garbage in a uniform taking shots at people’s heads and being proud of it.

  8. On behalf of all sensible Packer fans, this wasn’t dirty, just an unlucky situation. All the best to Finley and his family, regardless of his ultimate decision on his football career.

  9. Look at the picture. TJ Ward is wrapping up. Do the same. See what you hit. Don’t hurt yourself or other players.

  10. That was a nasty hit Finley took but no blame to anyone. It was refreshing to see Gibson concerned about Finley instead what we see so often in football games, a player down with his opponent walking around beating his chest or doing some stupid looking chicken walk in celebration. Gibson showed some class. He did his job right but still showed concern.

  11. If he wasn’t jumping around high fiving people like Brandon Meriweather – then …idk, He and TJ Ward are awesome safeties and this was just a bang-bang play.

    Scary game.

  12. golforepar says: Oct 24, 2013 1:32 PM

    Gipson was upset Finley ran him over earlier in the game. This play, while Finley was almost down, was needless

    Seriously? Are you saying Gipson hurt him on purpose? Watch the play. Gipson even turned his head so he would not make contact with the helmet.

  13. First off, I’ll say that this hit did not look cheap or dirty, or malicious in any way. So please don’t think the following rant is directed to Mr. Gipson. As a whole, I’m tired of listening to defensive players say that they don’t know how to tackle. Go back to youth league/junior high football. I’ve never heard a coach tell a player to duck his head and put his helmet in the knee of an opponent. I’ve never heard a coach tell a safety to raise his forearm and put an elbow in a WR’s throat. Youth coaches teach players how to tackle. Just because you’re an over-paid goon that’s never had any sort of rules applied to your life doesn’t mean you weren’t taught the correct way to tackle. Eyes up. Wrap up. Run your feet. Hearing guys that are supposed to be the best athletes in the world say that they don’t have enough body control to do that is just ridiculous.

  14. bigbensucks says: Oct 24, 2013 2:17 PM

    golforepar says: Oct 24, 2013 1:32 PM

    Gipson was upset Finley ran him over earlier in the game. This play, while Finley was almost down, was needless

    Seriously? Are you saying Gipson hurt him on purpose? Watch the play. Gipson even turned his head so he would not make contact with the helmet.

    I was 30 rows away! And Finley run over Gipson on his TD and I saw Gipson high fiving standing over Finley after the hit. The thought of a fine made him change his tune!

  15. golforepar says: Oct 24, 2013 1:32 PM

    Gipson was upset Finley ran him over earlier in the game. This play, while Finley was almost down, was needless

    Finley may have ran over him earlier, however Gipson was not looking for any type of revenge. Finley broke his tackle, that’s part of the game, just like this tackle was.

  16. That’s the rub here. This indecision is based upon too many rules and a lack of good judgement. Another problem is players skating the sideline and baiting would be tacklers. RGIII admitted to it and retracted that comment. Goodell?

  17. finleys injury was a long time coming. the doctor already explained this. you either have the strength in your spine to take the hits or your spine snaps in half. Finleys broke

  18. He did what he is paid to do, it is unfortunate, but a part of the game, If you ever played the game, watch the replay, if he had not hit Finley the way he did, Finley’s momentum would have taken him a yard or so further, and a guy of his talent would have even stretched out for more yards. Give up 2 extra yards on plays you’re gonna lose.

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