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Taking a hit like Finley did could have some lasting effects

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Taking a hit like Packers tight end Jermichael Finley did on Sunday, October 20th against the Cleveland Browns could have some lasting effects -- and a recent plea from Finley's own family may possibly affect his comeback.

Finley suffered multiple blows to his shoulders and neck as he collided with Browns cornerback Tashaun Gipson.

"Scary for me just seeing him laying there on a stretcher. And things like that you definitely don't want to see something like that happen. Like I said before, I shot out a prayer for him," said Gipson.

It was emotionally tough for Gipson seeing the aftermath of the contact. He, along with fans, were unsure of the future impact of Finley's health and career.

"It did look as though his shoulder had pushed Jermichael Finley's head to the side, which is a mechanism for a possible cervical neck injury," said Drew Hacker, an athletic trainer at the Sports Medicine Center at Froedtert Hospital.

Hacker says doctors took swift and precautionary measures to ensure his health.

"The reason they C-spine you and put you on a stretcher is to rule out that risk of a cervical spine fracture which would do something to your spinal column or even a spinal contusion which could lead to some paresthesia or numbness or tingling in your extremities which is also a red flag," said Hacker.

While being carted off the field, Finley showed movement of his extremities -- which could be a positive sign. But this injury, combined with a concussion he received a couple of weeks ago, is concerning.

Former Packers linebacker George Koonce has seen the dangers of concussions first hand.

"I played during an era where we had some very violent hits that resulted in guys being paralyzed for the rest of their lives," said Koonce.

Koonce tells FOX6 News, he has confidence Finley will make a full recovery.

"We have to take our time and give him the time he needs to recover because there is life after football," said Koonce.

Koonce says the Packers have some of the best care in the country to help Finley through this process.