Collins May End Up Playing Elsewhere

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Nick Collins

Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins will know soon if he’s medically cleared to play this season after undergoing spinal fusion surgery. Even if he gets the go ahead from his doctor, which seems likely, that doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily get the go ahead from the Packers.

Coach Mike McCarthy has previously stated he wouldn’t want Collins playing again if he were his son. If Collins is cleared medically, but doesn’t get clearance from the team to return he could end up playing elsewhere.

As badly as they need the three-time Pro Bowl selection back in their lineup, they have stopped just short of telling him he should retire. Sometime before the end of the month they will meet with Collins and his agents and make a decision whether to clear him.

McCarthy has said there must be a consensus among those in the room for that to happen. If the Packers decide they don’t want to accept the risk, Collins could ask for his release and play for another team.

It’s beginning to look like Collins will be on the field in 2012. He wants to play and wouldn’t be the first player to return from spinal fusion surgery. It puts the Packers in an unenviable position.

The team needs Collins. Their pass defense was atrocious in 2011 without him, but McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson seem reluctant to put him in harm’s way. If the team doesn’t clear Collins, they’ll likely have to draft his replacement.

If it plays out like that and Collins doesn’t retire, there would surely be a team that would be happy to add a three-time Pro Bowler to their roster.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

19 Comments on "Collins May End Up Playing Elsewhere"

  1. Denny

    Stop trying to be a father and be a football coach. Someone there needs to sack up and understand the inherent risk of the game. Our defense was a shell of itself last year. If he makes us better, put him on the field. If he doesn’t, then TRADE him, not cut him. The coach and GM are not doctors. If you cannot have that on your conscious, you are in the wrong business. Dallas, Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota will sign him to what HE wants in a second. Don’t be dopes. And Mike, if he was your kid, he would be 5’8 and 350 playing center at NAIA Joe Schmo State.

  2. Cuban

    Not to sound like a sentimental bitch here, but maybe they kno him personally and dont wAnt him to end up being seriously hurt all for the sake of a game. As opposed to someone sitting at their computer who thinks the team should let the guy risk paralysis over a W in the win column

  3. Ryan

    I agree. I don’t think Denny was well spoken at all. I appreciate McCarthy for realizing there are bigger things than football and winning. Failure to recognize that fact is the mindset that LEADS to what happened in New Orleans.

    I am not suggesting you are advocating for that system or that playing Collins is a step in that direction. What I am saying is that McCarthy showing that he has his players best interests in line will pay dividends in the long run. Personally, I am sure that it has contributed to the great relationship between ARodg and MM.

    Criticizing McCarthy here for having good intentions is disgusting. I want Nick to play too. But not if it can potentially risk his life. Come on.

  4. Kevin

    And at the same time, no one is forcing Collins to play. If he feels he can and the docs all say he will be ok, then let him play. Any player on the field has a risk to be paralyzed or never play the game again every Sunday. So Collins should be allowed to play if he’s healthy.

  5. guysocke

    It’s not as if we’re dealing with some quack like Dr. Nick Riviera here people. I’m sure Collins is working with the best in the business. If the doctors clear him to play, and he himself wants to take the field, MM or TT standing in the way of that on a moral basis will really fucking piss me off.

  6. Packerfan

    Denny,

    Great comments.
    Please keep in mind that Coach Mike has a SB Ring and earns $6M a year.

    Coach is also about 6’3. So 5’8 is a bit off.

    Go Pack Go.

  7. Savage57

    Nick Collins will do what he wants to do since its his neck, spine, health, etc. and MM and TT will do what they want to do since it’s their JOB and they are the ones invested with the responsibility and authority to do so.

    The rest of us here will have to be ok with our lot to just twist in the wind along with our opinions as to what is the “right” thing to do.

    Both parties have been pretty good at either playing the sport or figuring out how to run and coach a franchise and I’ll have faith that they can muddle their way through this issue too.

  8. Shawn iltarion

    Well said, Savage57.

    A coach CAN be a father-figure to many players. Mike McCarthy is more than a mercenary hired to win football games. He is a leader of men. I am completely fine with whatever decision is made.

    And I wouldn’t be so quick to guarantee that other teams would jump at the potential liability.

    On the field of play, winning is the only thing, but off the field, there is a hell of a lot more to life than winning football games.

  9. Chuck W.

    I find this hard to believe. If Collins wants to play next year, he’ll play whether it’s for the Packers or not. The point here is that TT and MM won’t be protecting him if he ends up on another team — and if you aren’t protecting him, why get rid of him?

    If Collins wants to play, he’ll suit up for the Packers.

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  11. Patrick

    The image or persona of the Packers organization is one of a small town “family-like” team. Its good to see the GM and head coach are actually like that. Would it be better if they duct taped is neck back together and put him in back on the field early?

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  13. Justin

    I would never want anyone to put their health at stake for the sake of anything, so I think Nick should just retire. I’m a diehard Packer fan and it pains me to lose him as he’s been one of our best, and one of my favorite, players. That being said…if he’s going to come back regardless, take him back. If he’s going to play anyway, I’d rather be rooting for him in the G&G. Good luck and best wishes to him in whatever path he chooses.

  14. ToddR

    What potential ‘liability’ could the organization face if something went very bad in Collins’ return? Lawsuits? NFL disciplinary action? I’m trying to understand what that one word, liability, is about in this case. Also, ignoring the obvious need at the position, it would be irresponsible for the team to just assume Collins will be and healthy for years to come.

    Remember Rolf Wolf’s comments when Sterling Sharpe wanted to return after a similar injury? Granted, different case, but Wolf said, ‘it’s our opinion that Sterling Sharpe should not play football anymore’. Case closed, done. Move on.

    We have to take into consideration the whole picture, even the parts we as outsiders don’t see clearly.

  15. Dennis

    For crying out loud, isn’t a person’s health more important than a “game”??? And if he does play and gets hurt, then who will sue who????

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