A few short years ago, Colts wide receiver Austin Collie was quickly becoming one of the best slot receivers in football, playing with star quarterback Peyton Manning.
Injuries - namely, concussions - derailed that, however. On November 7, 2010, in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Collie suffered a concussion and remained on the ground, motionless, for several minutes - a scary sight, to be sure. A few weeks later, Collie returned to the field - and suffered another concussion in his second game back, ending his season. He stayed healthy during the entire 2011 season, but then in 2012 suffered another concussion in a preseason game. He returned a few weeks later, but during the third game of the season he tore his patellar tendon, ending his season. Because of the injuries, Collie wasn't re-signed by the Colts the following offseason. Originally a fourth round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Collie was with the Colts for four years (2009-2012) and played in 45 games (including playoffs), starting 17. During his time with the team, he caught 190 passes for 2,086 yards and 18 touchdowns, averaging 11 yards per reception.
He spent a few weeks with the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, and a few weeks with the New England Patriots later that year, but his impact was minimal. Since then, he has had a workout with the Washington Redskins but wasn't signed. He didn't play anywhere in 2014, but now he's trying to make a comeback to football.
Earlier this year, Collie signed with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, and the Lions played their first game of the season on Saturday night. Though they lost 27-16 to Ottawa, Collie caught 5 passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in his CFL debut. For the score, he beat the defenders in the end zone and caught a pass from quarterback Travis Lulay after he had broken free.
Here's video of the score, courtesy of Mitch Harper, who covers BYU sports (where Collie went to school and played college football) for 1320KFAN in Utah.
"I wouldn't necessarily say it's so much for the love of the game," Collie recently told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I just felt like I wasn't done. That feeling of not being done, that's what kept my drive going."
Jeff Tedford, the Lions' head coach, expects a big season from the receiver. "He'll be a major part of the offense," Tedford said, per the Salt Lake Tribune. "He's starting, and he's a guy that we really need to get the ball to."
It was a nice score for Collie and a nice debut as he played in his first real game since the 2013 season, and hopefully he can continue to keep it up. We're definitely rooting for him here at Stampede Blue.