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Finley practices in pads for first time after concussion

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Jermichael Finley knows what it feels like to sustain a concussion. It was during a practice at the University of Texas that the current Green Bay Packers tight end encountered an incident that left him without any clue of where he was. So when trainers pulled the 6-foot-4, 247-pound tight end off the field during the Packers' first practice of training camp last Thursday, he wasn't really sure what for. Sure, Finley had slipped during a 10-yard comeback route and cut his chin after his helmet strap unbuckled, but his head didn't feel anything like his incident in college. Still, the Packers took the cautious approach with their 25-year-old tight end, who was a full participant at Tuesday's practice after missing two days of practice and being a limited participant on Monday. Finley said he went through the necessary battery of tests required for concussions, but passed without issue. Aside from a few stitches to seal his chin, he's suffered no aftereffects during Tuesday's practice. "I bumped my head," said Finley, jokingly. "I don’t know if it was a concussion, but I respect the Packers and the training staff for pulling me out, and being cautious, so it was all a great thing." With Finley out, Packers second-year tight end D.J. Williams continued to shine during training camp while Tom Crabtree and Ryan Taylor also saw increased reps with the first-team offense. Unable to practice on Friday and Saturday, Finley tried to keep his legs as fresh as possible while spending time doing pool work and in the treatment room. After doing little more than positional drills on Monday, Finley performed a few individual pass-catching drills off to the side on Tuesday, but showed little rust when working in the team period. During goal-line drills, Finley used his size to work inside safety M.D. Jennings for a quick touchdown from Aaron Rodgers off a slant. Packers tight end Jermichael Finley returned to full pads during Tuesday morning’s practice at Nitschke Field after sustaining a concussion during the first practice of training camp last Thursday. Finley was back at practice on Monday, but was limited to light catching drills and positional work. A full-participant on Tuesday, the 6-foot-5, 247-pound tight end even made a few plays in his first practice back in pads, including scoring the first touchdown of the goal-line drills when he beat safety M.D. Jennings inside on a slant route. “Jermichael is such a play-maker,” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. “I’ll probably say this everyday throughout this week and probably into next week, but it is an installation-phase of training camp, so a lot of new plays today. We hit a bunch of situations, a number of two-minute drills, red zone, and with that the adjustments and communications. I thought he did fine. Didn’t really study him, didn’t feel I needed to watch him as my focus was in other areas, but it was great to have him back.” Now that he's back in the fold, Finley's plans are simple. “Play my game,” he said. “Stay calm, stay composed, and hopefully put up a good season this year and show the world what I can do.”

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