Finley suffered a bruised spinal cord in his neck in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns (3-4). Browns' safety Tashaun Gipson led with his shoulder into a diving Finley, but his shoulder made contact with Finley's helmet. Finley was carted off of the field on a stretcher, but after a short-stint in the intensive care unit, Finley regained all movement in his arms and legs by Monday.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that Finley is still seeking opinions and he is "making progress". ESPN's Ed Werder reported Tuesday that Finley could be out from 4-6 weeks. Even though Finley could be fully recovered before the end of the season, McCarthy said the Packers will do "what's best for Jermichael Finley" after they receive all of the information.
"You don't replace Jermichael Finley," McCarthy said. "You don't replace him based on the way he was utilized. Andrew (Quarless) and (Brandon) Bostick will have to step up and play a role this week."
If the Packers decide to place Finley on the IR they can't designate him for a return to the team. The Packers used the designation on wide receiver Randall Cobb, who broke his fibula in a win over the Baltimore Ravens in week six. NFL teams can only designate on player on the IR for a return to the team in the same season.
Matthews is still recovering from a broken thumb injury suffered in week five in a win over the Detroit Lions. Matthews could be held out for a couple of more weeks.
Packers cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring), inside linebacker Brad Jones (hamstring), cornerback Jarrett Bush (hamstring) and running back James Starks (knee) fully participated in practice on Wednesday. Outside linebacker Nick Perry (foot), wide receiver James Jones (knee) and tight end Ryan Taylor (knee) did not practice Wednesday but they have not been ruled out for Sunday.
Hayward hasn't played in a game this season. The second-year cornerback led all NFL rookies last season with six interceptions and he is likely to return this weekend in Minnesota. "He looked good today," McCarthy said. "If push came to shove, he was close (to returning) last week. I think he'll be ready to go."
Jones is likely to return this weekend as well, but it remains to be seen if he will start on Sunday. Packers third-year linebacker Jamari Lattimore has 15 total tackles and two tackles for loss in place of Jones.
McCarthy said Starks "looked good" and "looks to be back" based on the minimal work-load in Wednesday's practice. Starks hasn't played in a game since injuring his knee in a week three loss against the Cincinnati Bengals.
In Other News: The Packers signed running back Michael Hill to the practice squad and released wide receiver Reggie Dunn on Tuesday. Hill was released by the Packers on October 18 in favor of wide receiver Chris Harper. Hill, who was on the 53-man roster at the time of Harper's signing, cleared waivers and he is now the lone running back on the Packers' practice squad. The undrafted rookie from Missouri Western has been activated for three games this season.
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- Jermichael Finley Reportedly Will Be Released from the Hospital
- Green Bay Packers Jermichael Finley in ICU After Neck Injury
- Green Bay Packers Jermichael Finley Likely Out with “Significant Injury”
- Green Bay Packers’ James Jones Questionable; NFL Fines Jermichael Finley
- Green Bay Packers Clay Matthews Out Multiple Weeks
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