A rocky road

DeKALB -- The last few months have been a crazy time for former NIU quarterback Chris Finlen. Finlen was allocated to Barcelona to play for the NFL Europe team and returned for training camp with the New Orleans Saints only to have it cut short after seperating his left non-throwing shoulder.

The quarterback was released due to his injury and returned home to rehab after having surgery. With his shoulder on the mend, Finlen took time to head to DeKalb on Saturday to catch the live feed of the NIU-Alabama game with friends at the Convocation Center. Finlen took a few minutes of his time to answer some of questions. Gerts: How did you injure your shoulder? Finlen: I injured it the first week in Europe. I sat out a week and thought that it healed. When I got back with the Saints, I was doing a scout team drill and it popped out of the socket. I was released since I was injured and decided to have surgery. Gerts: How was the experience at both places? Finlen: Both were amazing. Europe was amazingt because of the things I saw and playing there was a great experience. Eventually everything will work out. I'm not giving up on playing in the NFL. Gerts: How's the rehab going? Finlen: It's going good. I'm right where I want to be. It's a 6-7 week process to heal and the process is right on track. Gerts: What are your thoughts on seeing everyone here at the convo center witnessing NIU defeat Alabama? Finlen: This was amazing. Chills went down my spine. It's been a long road for these guys. These guys are living a dream beating two top ranked teams and starting 3-0. Gerts: Wish you could have been out there playing? Finlen: No kidding. Obviously I miss playing for this great program. Watching PJ (Fleck) and those guys celebrating, its a great feeling to see them get the wins they deserve. Gerts: Now that the NFL plans are on hold, do you plan on coming back up to NIU to watch any more games? Finlen: No doubt. I've caught all the game so far. And I plan on being here next week. Gerts: What is next for you? Finlen: First I have to rehab and get better. The rehab will be done halfway through the season. Then I'll talk to the Saints. But there are other teams that I'll talk with. If not, the Saints plan on sending me back to Europe.

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