4:23pm: According to Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin (via Twitter), Collins’ status and prognosis remains unchanged, with doctors still believing that the risk of him playing is too great. That doesn’t bode well for his comeback chances.
12:46pm: Nick Collins was one of the most productive safeties in the NFL during the last few years of the 2000s, earning three straight Pro Bowl berths from 2008 to 2010. Collins sustained a neck injury in the second week of the 2011 season that seemingly ended his career, but now the ex-Packer appears to be attempting a comeback.
After tweeting yesterday that he was “ready for action,” the three-time All-Pro sent out a second tweet that read: “Who’s looking for a top notch free safety. This kid is ready to dominate #2014.” Sources close to Collins confirmed to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he wants to return to the NFL.
Collins underwent cervical fusion surgery following his neck injury in 2011, and was eventually released by the Packers in 2012 when the team expressed unease with allowing him to return to the field. Later that year, Collins’ agent conceded that his client’s playing career was likely over, but the former second-round pick himself always maintained that he wanted to return to action.
It remains to be seen if team doctors will medically clear Collins to play in the NFL, and whether or not a club would feel comfortable signing him. It’s also unclear how effective Collins would be if he played again, considering it’ll be three years this September since he last appeared in an NFL game. Still, he’s just 30 years old and was performing at an elite level before his injury. It would certainly make a great story if Collins can return to the league and stay healthy, but we’ll have to wait and see how his comeback progresses.