Packers safety Nick Collins had more than 140 characters worth of information on his possible comeback Wednesday, and how it could impact others in the same position.
He followed up on a series of tweets by telling Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com that he was ready and willing to risk it to play again, after being out of action since 2011 because of a neck injury that required spinal fusion surgery.
Collins said that Packers team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie was the “only doctor” who wasn’t willing to clear him.
“The only doctor that was really unsure was Dr. McKenzie. He wasn’t quite sold on the idea of me playing for the Packers anymore,” Collins said. “That’s not saying that I wasn’t cleared to go nowhere else. I was cleared to go somewhere else. He just wasn’t 100 percent sold on the idea.”
Of course, if the Packers won’t touch Collins, it also stands to reason they’d be hesitant to bring back tight end Jermichael Finley, who also had surgery to fuse the C3 and C4 vertebrae. They brought back safety Sean Richardson, though he had the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae fused.
Finley said last week he expected to be cleared soon.
“I tried to reach out to him but he hasn’t returned my phone call,” Collins said of Finley. “Obviously he’s doing pretty well, from what I’m understanding. I saw some videos of him working out, trying to get ready to play.
“Everybody’s different. I know they cleared Sean Richardson, so I guess it depends on how [each player] feels.”
With all that, Collins said he feels good, and is ready to take the chance to play again if someone will let him.
“You know, you kind of block [the fear] out of your mind. If you’re going to go back out there and try to play a game, you can’t be thinking about all the negative stuff that can happen,” Collins said. “You have to stay positive and look forward. That’s my goal: Play fast with no hesitation and just make plays – be the player I know I can be. That’s all I can wish on and go for and don’t worry about all the negatives.
“You make it through one game at a time, one season at a time. That’s what you do. You can’t look and say I’m going ot make it through this year and hope nothing happens. It’s not guaranteed. You take it play-by-play, day-by-day, game-by-game and year-by-year.”
So far, no one has been willing to give him that chance, and it will be interesting to see if Finley’s future is similarly blocked.