The hits just keep coming for the Green Bay Packers.
Tight end Jermichael Finley, who has emerged as perhaps Aaron Rodgers’ top target, could miss the remainder of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Initial reports were that Finley would miss three to six weeks with the injury. However, a league source said that the recovery time will be more like six to 10 weeks and if it’s at that outer limit, Finley’s availability for this season will be very much in doubt.
Finley and his backup Donald Lee were both injured in Sunday’s overtime loss at Washington and the Packers are reeling with injuries. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion. Outside linebacker Clay Matthews is now banged up and might miss some time. They’re at the top of a long list.
The Packers have already lost starting running back Ryan Grant for the season, and any time without Finley will be a significant loss for the passing game. Because so many players are banged up and the team has three players who could eventually be coming off the physically unable to perform list, including veteran safety Atari Bigby, there might not be room to carry Finley on the 53-man roster until December, when he could potentially return. A decision does not need to be made immediately by the team, but there is no way Finley will be back in the next month.
The good news for Finley, 23, is that meniscus repairs typically do not create problems for the player longterm. The bad news is the Packers have been hit by so many injuries they might not see him back in action until 2011. Again, Finley could potentially be back in about six weeks, but that would really fast track his return and it’s too soon to tell exactly how he will respond.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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