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Jermichael Finley of Packers released from hospital

Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley's football future remains in question, but he's taken a major step toward recovering from the spinal contusion sustained in Week 7.

A source informed of Finley's condition told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport that the tight end was released from the hospital on Thursday.

At this point, surgery is not deemed necessary, though it is an option, and Finley might elect to have surgery to completely eliminate any future risk. Per Rapoport, Finley is walking, talking, has regained his balance and is doing well.

Coach Mike McCarthy has indicated that Finley still is seeking opinions from specialists before any decisions are made on his playing status. Rapoport reported that there has been no determination on whether to place Finley on injured reserve. The Packers traditionally are cautious, however, so the expectation is that Finley will land on IR rather than risk anything at all, but that call hasn't been made.

Although there has been speculation that Finley's career might be in jeopardy, teammates who have visited him in the hospital insist he will make a comeback from the injury. Rapoport added that doctors also believe Finley will play again.

"One of his biggest things was, 'I'm going to get back,'" tight end Andrew Quarless said, via "That's in any of us. Anytime any guys go down, I mean this is what we love to do, so that's the first thing (Finley asked). 'When am I going to get back? What's the timetable?' and stuff like that."

More information will have to be gathered before a timetable can be set on Finley's return. In the meantime, the Packers will proceed with Quarless as his replacement.

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