I suspect I’m like most people who were watching Sunday’s Jaguars-Colts game in that I felt sick as I saw Austin Collie get hit in the head, crumple to the turf, and stay on the ground, having suffered his third concussion of the season. I also suspect I’m like most people in that I just assumed the Colts would shut Collie down for the year.
But Colts coach Jim Caldwell says it’s too soon to rule Collie out just yet. Instead, Caldwell says the team will follow the same course it has with Collie’s previous concussions, and let both the team’s medical staff and independent doctors evaluate him and decide whether he’s ready to return.
“Our medical professionals are as good as they come, and they take all of the necessary precautions,” Caldwell said, per John Oehser of FanHouse. “They do everything the right way. They’re very, very conservative in that regard.”
Caldwell also said the coaches won’t put any pressure on Collie to return, and even if Collie insists he wants to play, the doctors will overrule him if they don’t think he’s ready.
“If he doesn’t pass the exams, or everything does not line up properly or neurologically, then they will not release him,” Caldwell said.
From everything Caldwell is saying, the Colts are following all the proper protocols. But the mere fact that there’s a chance of Collie getting back on the field is alarming. Collie suffered a serious concussion on November 7 against the Eagles, suffered more concussion symptoms in his first game back on November 21 against the Patriots, and has now suffered yet another concussion in his first game back after that, Sunday against the Jaguars. In less than two months, Collie has played in three games and been knocked out of three games because of concussions.
I’m hoping Collie doesn’t get the chance to get knocked out of a fourth game.