Finley's meeting with Packers 'a formality'

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Tight end Jermichael Finley is scheduled to meet with the Green Bay Packers' team doctors on Wednesday, but it is not an indication that he is on the verge receiving medical clearance or signing a new contract.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Finley had previous plans to travel to Green Bay with his family, and while in town will check in with Dr. Pat McKenzie and the team's medical staff because he has not seen them recently.

"It's a formality, no testing," the source said. "Nothing more, nothing less."

Finley is 6½ months removed from surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his neck following his season-ending spinal cord contusion against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 20. The injury left Finley momentarily without movement or feeling. He quickly regained both, but spent several days in an area hospital.

All along, he has expressed a desire to continue his career.

That is why, on Nov. 14, he had the C-3 and C-4 vertebrae in his neck fused. It is the same fusion that former Packers safety Nick Collins had following his 2011 neck injury, and he has not played since. The Packers released Collins the next spring, saying they did not believe it was safe for him to continue playing.

Finley, who has played his entire six-year NFL career with the Packers, is a free agent. Shortly after free agency opened in March, he visited the Seattle Seahawks but did not receive medical clearance from their doctors.

It’s unknown if his own surgeon, Dr. Joseph Maroon, has given him the OK to resume football activities yet. Even if Maroon does so, it does not mean other NFL teams will share his opinion.

The Packers reported for organized team activities on Wednesday. The first day of OTAs typically includes physical exams for the players, which means the team doctors already were scheduled to be at Lambeau Field.

Even if Finley gets a good report, a signing could be days or weeks away. Packers general manager Ted Thompson and his staff are in Florida this week for their scouting annual meetings.

The Packers have a crowded tight end group, but no proven playmaker like Finley. They re-signed Andrew Quarless in free agency and drafted Cal's Richard Rodgers in the third round. They also signed undrafted rookie Colt Lyerla, a talented but troubled prospect who left the Oregon football team last fall.