After suffering what could arguably be the fourth concussion of his professional football career, many wondered if Austin Collie wouldn't just walk away from the game and the obvious deterioration that comes along with getting your brain jostled for a living.
However, if you thought Collie would be starting in Week One, then you shouldn't be surprised by what you're about to read.
According to Phil Wilson of the Indy Star, that's exactly what looks like is going to happen. Collie was "full go" for Monday's practice and "looks good for Sunday," tweeted Phil B. Obviously, most of us have a great deal of mixed feelings about this situation, including Collie's own father.
All in all, the Colts are the only one who can save this guy from himself, if he really needs to be saved, that is. People love to talk about what is in the best interests of another person, and often times, they're right. Yet, when it comes to someone's health, it's on them to ultimately make the best decision. But what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't give my opinion? A pretty boring one.
Look, if he was my kid, I would have the same exact feelings as Mr. Collie. I'd be incredibly scared that, one day, my son may not get up from that next brutal hit. I'd be on pins and needles just watching him play, despite the thrill and pride that must come along with having a NFL player for a son. It's only natural. However, what I cannot do is put myself inside the mind of Austin. He's a young family man that has a lot of life ahead of him, and if playing football makes him happy and he can do it safely, then I'm all for it. That said, I just don't see how someone can be safe after three or four concussions. He's obviously prone to such, much like Jahvid Best, and if he goes down again, could it be too late?
I told you that I have mixed feelings about this.
On the flip side of the coin lies this: I don't see it being very easy for any NFL player, let alone Collie, to hang up their cleats at such a young age with so much money left on the table. I hate to say it, but if I was in Collie's position, I would be doing the exact same thing. That money could give my family the future that I want for them, and if I suffer another concussion, then so what? I knew the risks going into football. If my doctors say that I can take it, then I'll still grow old with my wife and see my kids grow up. I'll also have a lot of money (compared to the average person) to boot.
Is it incredibly short-sighted? Maybe. The lasting effects of concussions are as prevalent as they've ever been in this Goodell safety-driven era of the NFL and a new player joins the concussion lawsuit practically every day. However, put yourself in Collie's position and ask yourself the same question. What's your answer?
I'm not a neurologist, but if Collie's doctors believe that he is fine (and I don't know how, but again, I'm not a neurologist), then he absolutely deserves to be out there. It's his life and his career. The Colts can exercise their muscle and release him, but why cut a quality player like Collie if the doctors tell you that he's absolutely fine?
I can question Collie's health all I'd like, but I have absolutely no reason to believe that they'd let him go out there knowing that he could turn into a vegetable. No reason at all.
So while it's an edgy topic filled with concern, vulnerability, and a ton of questions that none of us can really answer, I trust that Collie is doing what is best for him and his family. They certainly need him more than the game of football.
Be safe and have a monster season, #17.