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Wisconsin Sports Briefs: Finley could miss as little as 4 to 6 weeks…

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Jermichael Finley was expected to be released from the hospital either Wednesday or Thursday, according to various media reports on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

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It's just speculation on whether the Green Bay Packers tight end can play again this season. At least two media reports from ESPN and WDJT-TV in Milwaukee say Finley could miss as little as four to six weeks, depending on how the normally conservative Packers want to be in bringing him back from his injury.

ESPN said the Packers are expected to decide this week whether to put Finley on season-ending injury reserve. Once he's out of the hospital, Finley is expected to visit neurosurgeons and specialists who treat spinal injuries.

The latest media reports are that Finley suffered a spinal bruise in his neck that would not need surgery. Once it heals, he probably would not have a bigger risk than any other player of developing a major spinal injury.

Finley released a video on Twitter Tuesday which shows him walking normally, two days after he suffered a vicious hit in the helmet by the shoulder of Tashaun Gipson in the Packers' win over Cleveland.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on his weekly Milwaukee radio show that he visited Finley in the hospital and he was encouraged by the improvement he's making.

Rodgers said the medical staff did a terrific job of isolating Finley's neck at first.

Favre stays retired after agent contacted by Rams

Brett Favre is retired, and this time he means it.

ESPN reports that the St. Louis Rams called the former Green Bay quarterback last Sunday after Sam Bradford went out for the year with a knee injury.

Favre's agent, Bus Cook, recently made waves when he claimed that the three-time MVP was still in great playing shape.

When the Rams asked Favre to make good on that claim, Cook told them to forget about it. He said the 44-year-old Favre is retired - "actively, really, officially."

Had he returned to the NFL, it could have pushed back Green Bay's efforts to return Favre to the Packers' family and retire his No. 4.

This is Favre's third year of retirement. He needs to be out five years before he can be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Some observers say the Packers will want to bring him back at that time if not sooner.

Favre spent 16 years in Green Bay before playing for one season with the New York Jets and his final two years with Minnesota. He's now a grandfather who appears content coaching high school football at his Mississippi home and appearing as a TV sports pundit on occasion.

Favre has also spent the last year making peace with the Packers, but he has not said when he might be ready to become immortalized in Green Bay.

Packers have a lot of respect for Peterson

Adrian Peterson is not the same player he was last year, but the Green Bay Packers still have immense respect for him.

The Packers will try again on Sunday night to contain last year's MVP when they play the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.

Last December, Peterson exploded for 210 yards against the Packers at Lambeau Field, and 199 yards during their game in Minneapolis. In the January playoffs, Peterson ran for 99 yards. All three of those games were Green Bay victories.

Defensive end Mike Daniels said he couldn't blink when facing Peterson last year. That was when the All-Pro finished the regular season with 2,096 rushing yards.

Daniels was a rookie last year. He said Peterson would almost be gone by the time he got to his coverage gap.

Despite Minnesota's 1-5 record, and despite the distractions involving the apparent murder of his two-year-old son, Peterson remains a huge threat.

He ranks seventh in the NFL in total rushing yards so far with 511. He has an average of 4.4 yards per carry.

In 13 games against Green Bay, Peterson has run for 1,541 yards with 10 touchdowns.

Packers re-sign running back

The Packers have re-signed running back Michael Hill to their practice squad, just four days after cutting him to make room for new receiver Chris Harper.

Harper was claimed off waivers from San Francisco late last week. He played on special teams during the Packers' home win over Cleveland last Sunday.

Hill was on Green Bay's practice squad for the first three games this season. He was promoted to the 53-man roster in late September. Hill played in two games before his initial release last week.

To make room for Hill, the Packers released rookie receiver and kick returner Michael Dunn. Dunn has had two stints on the practice squad this year.

The 4-2 Packers started practice Wednesday for their Sunday night match-up at Minnesota.

Kicker Kyle French says it was his decision to leave Badgers

Former Wisconsin kicker Kyle French wants to make it clear that his decision to leave the Badgers was mutual, and that he was given a chance to return next season.

French went on Facebook last week to say that the coaches wanted him to forego his senior year, and that he was leaving the Badgers. The announcement came after French missed key field goal attempts the previous two games.

There was some fan criticism over the way the University of Wisconsin handled the matter. French responded right away by saying it was a mutual decision.

This week, French made it clear that he was given a chance to return, but he would have to start as the team's No. 4 kicker.

Jack Russell is handling field goals and extra points. Andrew Endicott is making kickoffs, and another kicker is in the pipeline for 2014.

French said he had dreams of making the NFL, but they probably won't be realized. He expects to get degrees in personal finance and economics from the Madison campus next year.

French made 5 of 8 field goal attempts for the Badgers this year, and 18 of 29 for his career.

Pointers clinch volleyball title

UW-Stevens Point has clinched at least a share of its third-straight WIAC volleyball title.

The Pointers improved to 6-1 in conference play with a shutout at UW-Eau Claire Wednesday night.

Stevens Point can win the crown outright with a victory over UW-Superior tomorrow. UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse and UW-Whitewater still have a shot at grabbing at least a piece of the league title.

UW-Whitewater women will win soccer title

UW-Whitewater will win a least a share of the WIAC women's soccer championship. The Warhawks defeated UW-Platteville 2-1 at home Wednesday to improve to 7-0 in league play.

Whitewater has won its fourth-consecutive league title.

UW-Oshkosh can still get a share of first with a win over Platteville on Saturday, and a Whitewater loss to UW-Stevens Point on Nov. 2.

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