Packers tight end Jermichael Finley underwent spinal fusion surgery in November. It ended his season and some thought it would end his career. But Finley was not one of that mind. He's been working out and preparing to come back for the 2014 season, and he's close to reaching a critically important benchmark.
Finley told Pro Football Talk on Friday that his doctor expects to clear him for contact within the next three or four weeks. Finley, who is slated to become a free agent, has already been cleared to run routes and catch passes.
If Finley gains that clearance -- he added that his doctor is "99.9 percent" confident that will happen -- he should be a popular man on the open market. Coming off such a serious operation will likely drive down Finley's cost and leave him with only short-term offers, but many teams should be looking to add him at a relative discount. Finley will be only 27 years old in March. He was on pace for 67 receptions, 800 yards and eight touchdowns prior to his injury.