Packers Release Nick Collins, Career Over?
It’s a sad day for the Green Bay Packers.
According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers will release free safety Nick Collins. The move comes amidst doubt that he will be able to return to football due to a neck injury he sustained against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 of last season. Though Collins has been rehabbing the injury and attempting to come back to play, team doctors have not yet cleared him.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson released a statement regarding Collins’ release, stating that, “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.”
Thompson’s statements echo that of head coach Mike McCarthy, who said earlier this offseason that, due to the severity of Collins’ injury, “If Nick was my son I would not let him play.”
As unfortunate as it is for Collins to have suffered such a tragic injury, the Packers are making the right decision here, and barring some miraculous recovery that medically clears him to play, his career is likely over. But this is a whole different kind of injury and Collins needs to consider his long-term health rather than risk it playing football.
Collins was drafted by the Packers in 2005 and quickly established himself as a ball-hawking safety that can rank up there with the best in the game. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro, and even returned an interception for a touchdown that helped propel the Packers to a Super Bowl XLV victory. In his career, Collins recorded 419 tackles, 21 interceptions and scored four touchdowns.