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Will Packers Show Favoritism Toward Finley?

The Green Bay Packers face a delicate decision with Jermichael Finley while treading a fine line between ending his season and showing favortism to a star player.

Because Finley is a bona fide playmaker, the Packers may be more patient than most players when making a decision whether or not to place him on injured reserve.

One can only guess what the team will decide to do. If Finley falls on the sunny side of eight to 10 weeks, he could be back  in time for the final few regular season games and conceivably a final playoff push.

On the other hand, 10 weeks basically is the end of the regular season and nearing the post-season, and that's if there is even a post-season in store for head coach Mike McCarthy's squad.

The Packers already set precedent with running back Ryan Grant, choosing to place him on season-ending injured reserve instead of waiting for him to recover in time for a late-season return.

They also face a similar situation with linebacker Nick Barnett who's estimated to be out a similar length of time as Finley. How the Packers treat these two players will undoubtedly be compared and contrasted to how they treated Grant.

Should the team choose to handle the injury to Finley any differently than Grant or Barnett, it's not outrageous to think it might cause trouble in the locker room.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

alexwoodsIAM's picture

I really dont think its that big of a deal, I mean Grant IMO opinion is more important to the team then Finley also when Grant went down the team did not know they were going to lose a playmaker in Finley as they placed him on IR very quickly.

Tommyboy's picture

I'm honestly just not that concerned about it...

jeremy's picture

I don't understand why the NFL doesn't have an option like the 15/60 day disabled lists in MLB. Especially considering the extra impact NFL players have to absorb on a game to game basis.

Erik's picture

Especially if they're thinking of adding more games. It's crazy to think that teams would have to balance a roster spot or be done with a guy like Grant for the season if he's gone for ten of the 20 or so weeks of the regular season.

Idiot Fan's picture

The NFL is by far my favorite league to watch, but I've never understood two things about it -- that IR is the only option for injuries, and that you can have a 53-man roster (plus PS) but only suit up 45 on gameday. I think both of those are lame.

Brian Carriveau's picture

There is considerable push for a baseball-like disabled list with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. I think you'll see it soon.

MarkinMadison's picture

Looking at it structurally, what they are probably trying to do is make sure that teams are not just hiding players away on the disabled list that they would otherwise have to release come cut-down time. Keeping the better players avaialble for other teams improves the league, in theory. I don't buy it, but I think that is what the structure tells me.

Bill's picture

Amen jeremy

Nathan Zacher's picture

I was wondering the same thing when I have seen them drag their feet on making a decision with Barnett and Finley, yet Grant was on the IR basically before anyone knew he was out for the year.

I think they may cater to Finley some in order to keep him happy, because when he is looking for his payday in a year or two, I have a feeling he may be looking to head somewhere else - fit his lifestyle a little better. I really don't know but that is my perception.

cole's picture

You have to keep in mind that when Grant became injured we only had one other RB on the roster. There was more urgency to move him to the IR so we could sign Dmitri Nance. That isn't a factor at tight end or linebacker where we have more players behind them.

BrianD's picture

Going back to what Alex said, when Grant went down, we were missing one playmaker in the offense. If Finley were to go in IR, we'd be guaranteed to be without TWO major offensive players, effectively magnifying the problem come the postseason (if there is one).

Chris's picture

Can they even field 45 player with this many injured? Don't they need to put someone on IR and fill his spot?
I think both Barnett and Finley will be placed on IR soon.

hyperRevue's picture

With the Pack signing 2 LBs off the practice squad, I'd expect to see Barnett to go on IR next week either for Harris or Bigby.

Chad's picture

As far as Finley goes, he's basically got two rookie back-ups with the exception of Lee. Grant's "back-ups" (BJax and Kuhn) are both veterans.

Something to consider.

David's picture

Much ado about nothing. I trust the Packers will treat each case on its merits and the doctor's best advice. Who knows if Finley will take all 8 weeks to heal?

hyperRevue's picture

As someone said in a previous thread, there are only 5 players on the Packers that warrant holding open a roster spot for 8-10 weeks: Finley, Rodgers, Woodson and Matthews.

If there is a chance for him to come back by the playoffs, give him that opportunity.

hyperRevue's picture

*4 players

davyjones's picture

Teams have always--always--shown favoritism at times to different players...this simply is not news. Different guys...different situations...should be treated differently.

Here's a question: If Rodgers can't go this week & Flynn starts, they have to bring Harrell up to the 53 man roster, don't they? Do they have an open spot right now? If not, they have to cut/IR someone, do they not? Who would it be?

hyperRevue's picture

True.

Also, at the same time, I really think "favoritism" is the wrong word. These are carefully calculated decisions based on a players ability, the nature of the injury and position depth, among, probably, a lot of other things.

Favoritism, to me at least, says that they'd not IR Finley simply because they like him better than, for example, Grant.

JJK's picture

I agree with your questioning of the word favoritism in this context. To me it seems Finely is simply head and shoulders above the rest of the options at TE, being the only difference maker. If the Packers are able to position themselves for a playoff run keeping Finley off of the IR is a good football decision.

nerd's phone's picture

Grant is above average btween the tackles, doesn't have vision and can't make people miss or catch the ball. Barnett is the "Darren Sharper" of ILBs. Finley is good on the level of Clay Matthews. Apples and oranges. We can replace those other guys.

lars's picture

Trouble in the "locker room?" Probably not. But, dumb nonetheless. Thompson almost always drags his feet re: placing players on IR (Grant being an exception).

Ten weeks for Finley is the season, basically. As for Barnett, who cares? He's a mouthy, over-paid, very average LB. IR him now and get somebody in there who can get to the QB.

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