The Green Bay Packers may have won Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, but they suffered a major loss when prolific tight end Jermichael Finley sustained an injury after a brutal hit that one teammate said left him temporarily unable to move.
Finley sustained the hit in the middle of the fourth quarter after catching a pass over the middle. That's when the Browns' Tashaun Gipson lowered his head and appeared to make contact with Finley's neck region when Finley lowered his own. Finley immediately went down, even appearing to go limp. And according to fellow Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, it was even worse than just a hard hit.
"He couldn't move at the time," said Quarless, whose locker is next to Finley's and who attended to him after the play. "So I just told him, 'Just stay here, just lay here, don't move.'"
"That look he had in his eyes, that was something that stuck with me," Quarless added. "It really hurt me just to see him like that. My brother was out there on the ground."
You can see the hit as it happened, about 13 seconds into this video:
Finley was taken off on a stretcher and appeared to give a labored gesture with his hands as he was being wheeled to an ambulance. According to ESPN, he is now in the intensive care unit.
ESPN's Rob Demovsky reported that several players had tears in their eyes after the incident:
As for the hit itself, Gipson was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness, but defended the play.
"[It was] all shoulder," Gipson said, according to ESPN. "The crown of my head did not go down whatsoever. It was a shoulder hit. I don't know the place where it hit him exactly. I just know I saw him break out of the middle. He was running a slant. I'm driving on the ball. There's a collision, and he's down. I really haven't watched the play, so I can't really tell you what happened. I was just going out there playing physical."
As of Monday morning, Finley remained in the hospital in unknown condition.