Earlier this week, former Colts wide receiver Austin Collie informed his most recent team, the CFL's BC Lions, that he is retiring. According to the Salt Lake Tribune's Jay Drew, Collie has been working with a concussion research clinic in Utah, where he lives with his family.
Collie, who attended college at BYU, was drafted by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Colts, he played in 42 games (starting 16) and caught 173 passes for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 10.7 yards per catch. He proved to be a very capable slot receiver and was very quickly becoming one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets, but unfortunately he was plagued by concussions. He suffered at least three concussions with the Colts, and while all concussions are series, some of his were particularly concerning. In 2012, he tore his patellar tendon in his first game back from one of those concussions and didn't play again for the Colts. He got a training camp shot with the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and then played in seven games for the New England Patriots that year, but he didn't really do much for them. That led to him signing with the BC Lions, and in his first season with them last year he caught 43 passes for 439 yards and seven scores in 16 games.
Austin Collie was a talented young player who could have continued to be a dangerous receiving threat, but unfortunately his career was derailed by concussions. He's walking away from the game now and is focusing on concussion research, which is good to hear. Hopefully, his decision to walk away from the game pays off and he is able to spend more time with his family, while hopefully he's also able to use his experience with concussions to aid whatever research he can.