Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie has dealt with a myriad of injuries during his four seasons in the NFL. Three concussions and a torn patellar tendon in his right knee have forced him to miss 22 games over the last three seasons. But it’s the concussions that could keep him from getting another look from an NFL team.
Collie suffered the third concussion of his career last preseason. With the league’s increased focus on illegal hits and increased concussion protocols, Collie could struggle to find a new team to play for. Whether it’s a risk of re-injury that won’t allow him to play or the thought that he’d be a liability to the league if he were to be injured again, Collie is a difficult case.
However, Collie doesn’t think it’s difficult at all. According to Mike Garafolo of the USA Today, Collie just wants to play again and he’s willing to take whatever steps necessary to prove it.
“I’ll sign a waiver, all right?” he said. “They’re not going to have to worry about me suing. I’ll hold myself to be accountable.”
Collie is trying to tell the league that he wants to make any decision on whether to play himself and not have that decision made for him.
Collie says that he’s not at risk for long-term issues after being cleared by several neurologists. However, not all risk can be ruled out and Collie is willing to take on that risk of serious brain injury in order to play the sport he loves again. He’s tired of being the face of concussions in the NFL after his initial concussion in 2010 left him unconscious on the field for several minutes.
Collie has the blessing of his family to continue his pursuit of returning to the NFL. His knee is healthy again and he still has the desire to play. Whether any team will make the leap to sign him remains to be seen but he believes he’ll get his chance and return to the NFL.
“Call me naïve or optimistic, but I’m confident I’ll be playing,” Collie said.