Former Packers safety Nick Collins attempting NFL comeback
Two years ago, in Week 2 of the regular season against the Carolina Panthers, Nick Collins of the Green Bay Packers attempted a routine tackle on Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart. The end result saw him carted off the field in a neck brace with the prospect of never playing football again looming over him.#
Fast forward two years and Nick Collins is attempting to return to the NFL after coming back from the serious neck injury that could have ended his career.
Nickdapick36 is ready for action.
— Nick Collins (@nickdapick36) February 3, 2014
Collins was three time Pro Bowler and made Second Team All Pro three times before the injury. He was also a Super Bowl champion in 2011 with the Packers and even returned a Ben Roethlisberger interception for a touchdown against the Steelers in the big game.
So Collins has talent and he wants to know who needs a top level free safety for 2014.
Who’s looking for a top notch free safety. This kid is ready to dominate #2014
— Nick Collins (@nickdapick36) February 4, 2014
Collins was cut by the Packers seven months after the injury because they didn’t feel like they could clear him to return to the team, and that it wasn’t safe for him. When he was cut, it was a sad day for the Packers’ organization.
“From the beginning of this process, we have taken our time and sought numerous medical opinions while maintaining consistent dialogue with Nick,” general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement at the time. “In the end, we were not comfortable clearing him to play again. As with all of our players, Nick is a member of our family and we thought of him that way as we came to this conclusion”.
Collins required fusion neck surgery between the C-3 and C-4 vertebrae. That operation was performed in September 2011. It is the same surgery that Peyton Manning had. The difference is that Peyton was out for a year and quickly returned to action with the Denver Broncos after being cut by the Colts. Collins hasn’t played for nearly three years and is plays a much harder hitting role than Manning.
Collins is now 30-years old and still needs to be medically cleared to play again But the prospect of having a Pro Bowl caliber free safety in their secondary should he be successful on his quest to return to the NFL would have teams salivating.
Thanks to Paul Imig at Fox Sports Wisconsin for the original article and quotes used in this piece.