Nick Collins wasn’t the only star on the Green Bay Packers’ sideline during Super Bowl XLV, but his interception in the first quarter was definitely enough to call him one of the game’s heroes. Sadly, in Week 2 of the following year, Collins went down against the Carolina Panthers after trying to tackle running back Jonathan Stewart. While everyone else was preparing for the next play, Collins laid flat on the ground. As we would soon learn, the tragically unsuccessful tackle compromised the future of Collins’ year (2011) and, potentially, his entire career. He would soon undergo a spinal fusion procedure not unlike the surgery that quarterback Peyton Manning went through just a few weeks earlier in the same season.
Coaches in Green Bay are saying, collectively, that they don’t think he’s ready yet to play in 2012. This is probably a good sign of things to come in the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell has been laying down the law over the last several years, earning him a reputation for trying to clean up a culture of untempered violence. The harshness of his convictions are often criticized (case in point, the bounty-gate hammer), but the fact is, when coaches are willing to be honest about the physical weaknesses of their players, that’s evidence that no one will be pushing men like Nick Collins back onto the field before they’re ready.
Right now, it’s all about the healing process. And from the looks of things, Collins will be out for quite a bit longer.
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