McCarthy was left to 'praying' in shock of Finley injury
Jermichael Finley. Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
When a coach focuses years on a football player's growth on the field and as a man, and sees that player's livelihood possibly end in one fell swoop, it can draw them to desperate prayer.
That could be a good way to describe how Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy's emotions as he saw doctors attending to tight end Jermichael Finley after he suffered a reportedly bruised spinal cord.
"It's probably the worst part of your job, the biggest fear. It's never good. Sunday is a great example of that," said McCarthy on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News.
"You're frankly standing out there, praying, hoping this thing ends the right way."
Positive news has come out in recent days for Finley, as he has left the hospital and gone home to continue recovery.
But for McCarthy, the worry is remains about injuries, despite the league's efforts to curtail them with education and new safety rules about hitting players in the head.
"No one has an exact handle on it, but our game is trying to change in the direction of being safer...our injuries right now are very high," explained the coach.
"You always worry about injuries. The league is doing everything it possibly can in line with players safety. It's the one thing you can't control. Anytime you do have change, change in technique that's being taught, emphasized, change in regulation, sometimes you see changes in result as far as the injury patterns."
He expects greater safety precautions to be part of the off-season discussion among coaches and league executives.
"I'm sure it will be part of the conversation come spring. Everything's analyzed. There's data and video, analysis that goes with it."