Packers refusal to clear Nick Collins bad sign for Jermichael Finley

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Packers safety Nick Collins had more than 140 characters worth of information on his possible comeback Wednesday, and how it could impact others in the same position.

He followed up on a series of tweets by telling Jason Wilde of that he was ready and willing to risk it to play again, after being out of action since 2011 because of a neck injury that required spinal fusion surgery.

Collins said that Packers team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie was the “only doctor” who wasn’t willing to clear him.

The only doctor that was really unsure was Dr. McKenzie. He wasn’t quite sold on the idea of me playing for the Packers anymore,” Collins said. “That’s not saying that I wasn’t cleared to go nowhere else. I was cleared to go somewhere else. He just wasn’t 100 percent sold on the idea.”

Of course, if the Packers won’t touch Collins, it also stands to reason they’d be hesitant to bring back tight end Jermichael Finley, who also had surgery to fuse the C3 and C4 vertebrae. They brought back safety Sean Richardson, though he had the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae fused.

Finley said last week he expected to be cleared soon.

“I tried to reach out to him but he hasn’t returned my phone call,” Collins said of Finley. “Obviously he’s doing pretty well, from what I’m understanding. I saw some videos of him working out, trying to get ready to play.

“Everybody’s different. I know they cleared Sean Richardson, so I guess it depends on how [each player] feels.”

With all that, Collins said he feels good, and is ready to take the chance to play again if someone will let him.

“You know, you kind of block [the fear] out of your mind. If you’re going to go back out there and try to play a game, you can’t be thinking about all the negative stuff that can happen,” Collins said. “You have to stay positive and look forward. That’s my goal: Play fast with no hesitation and just make plays – be the player I know I can be. That’s all I can wish on and go for and don’t worry about all the negatives.

“You make it through one game at a time, one season at a time. That’s what you do. You can’t look and say I’m going ot make it through this year and hope nothing happens. It’s not guaranteed. You take it play-by-play, day-by-day, game-by-game and year-by-year.”

So far, no one has been willing to give him that chance, and it will be interesting to see if Finley’s future is similarly blocked.

17 responses to “Packers refusal to clear Nick Collins bad sign for Jermichael Finley

  1. What do these guys expect? If any team lets them back on the field, they would be smart to get them to sign a waiver or the players will sue if/when they get injured again.

  2. While I commend a young man, even a Packer, for wanting to play football after a spinal injury, I would hope his mentors and/or family talk these guys out of it. Find another job and be thankful you got to play in the NFL and still walk away on two legs.

  3. Wow… I can’t believe he is willing to risk it.

    Having read the article… he sounds like he hasn’t gotten any new medical opinions recently that he could take to a team to convince them he could play.

    Wouldn’t you take it upon yourself to prove the NFL wrong by having some doctors says you could resume your career?

  4. Obviously there’s a risk of serious injury for every player when they step on the field. When you’re talking about a neck injury as serious as the one that Collins & Finley suffered through- that’s a entirely different level of risk for the player and team.

    It may very well be that both those guys will get cleared at some point, but who really wants to risk signing a player that may be 1 hit away from being paralyzed?

  5. Sounds like the Packers are just cautious. I can’t blame them. They don’t want to see guys get seriously injured and even disabled, and wouldn’t want the inevitable lawsuits.

  6. Actually it’s probably a “good sign” for Finley that other people are looking out for his long-term welfare.
    I think it’s rather nice that the Packer organization sees its people as something more than uniform numbers. That’s something you can’t say about most businesses these days.

  7. Jahvid Best was willing to sign a waiver to continue his career only to be turned away. Now he is suing the NFL and Riddell because head injuries ended his career.

    I would tell Nick to go take a hike.

  8. Packer-related or not, it seems to me McKenzie is just looking out for the players’ long-term physical best interest. Don’t often see that in the NFL.

  9. Id take a chance on him,let him come to camp and feel him out,he knows how serious his injury was ans or is. He still has a chance to play in the nfl,and for him its worth the risk,who are we to judge

  10. McKenzie is WAAAAY too conservative a doctor. Any wonder why the Pack always seems to have 10+ guys hurt. This is also a financial move, ‘Ol Tight Wad Teddy wants some more cheap safties. As that worked well last yr w/Jennings and McMillian.

  11. The Packers were desperate for better safety play this past season and they didn’t call Collins. He already knew the defense as well.

    When the money goes away it makes your mind do funny things.

    No Collins, no Finley, the list of “ex-Packers” and “Future Vikings” grows longer.

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