It now appears Finley has avoided that worst-case scenario.
Finley told ProFootballTalk on Friday that he expects to gain clearance for a return to full contact football activities within the next three or four weeks. The tight end's doctors are "99.9 percent" confident that he will get the green light.
It's major news for a player facing a pivotal offseason. Prior to the injury, Finley was on pace to reset his franchise record for most single-season receiving yards at his position.
He would be second only to Jimmy Graham among tight ends on the open market if not for the major surgery. As it is now, teams might be leery of investing guaranteed money due to the injury risk.