Jermichael Finley's NFL career is currently on hold because of his neck injury. If he gets cleared to play football again, a return to Green Bay remains on the table.
"In my mind, he's a Green Bay Packer, hopefully," coach Mike McCarthy said on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday. "He's going through a tough medical situation that we all recognize is a serious injury. My understanding is he's doing everything and beyond to get himself ready, and we'll continue to watch that."
The previous conventional wisdom surrounding Finley said that a return to Green Bay was unlikely. But the Packers only have Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor and third-round pick Richard Rodgers at the position. Packers general manager Ted Thompson left the door open for Finley's return after the draft, and McCarthy's quotes sound more telling.
Perhaps McCarthy was simply answering a question in the most hopeful way possible. But the tight-lipped coach doesn't say things in public without a purpose, and we're starting to think Finley could wind up back with the Packers if he's cleared again.
That's the rub. Despite a lot of optimistic public statements about Finley's neck, he's yet to be cleared by NFL teams for a return to the field. As the Packers know better than any organization, hoping for a recovery is a lot different than expecting one.