Austin Collie knows “there’s a question mark surrounding me”

AP

Austin Collie doesn’t plan to quit playing football after the Colts released him, but he does understand that if he’s going to remain in the NFL, he’s going to have to find a team that can be convinced he can stay healthy.

Collie told Don Banks of SI.com that the knee injury that cut short his 2012 season, and especially the multiple concussions he has suffered, will have teams wondering whether he’s ever going to make it through an NFL season again.

I definitely think there’s a question mark surrounding me,” Collie said. “I had those two high-profile concussions on national TV back in 2010, the year everyone started to really make a huge deal about concussions in this league, and there I was, Exhibit A, right in the middle of it all. So everybody obviously uses me as the poster boy for the concussion issue. That’s the first thing that comes out. My name is used as the example.”

Collie says he understands the risks associated with continuing to play and he’s a little tired of people who don’t know that doctors have cleared him telling him that he should retire.

“People tell me all the time that I should probably hang it up,” Collie said. “Not my family, because my family knows I’m fine. But fans or whatever. Look, I get it. The head is a scary part of the body, and people are seeing these guys who played 20, 30, 40 years ago having issues and making it a match. They’re automatically assuming that I’m going to be one of those guys or have exactly the same situation later in life. Honestly, it’s getting to me. It’s getting frustrating to deal with the perception.”

Unfortunately for Collie, it’s a perception that is not going away.