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Teammates worried about concussed Collie

Published August 21, 2012 9:23 pm

NFL notes • Colts receiver left Sunday's game after hit to head.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Austin Collie keeps telling the Indianapolis Colts he feels well.

Teammates and coaches are praying he is.

Less than 24 hours after coach Chuck Pagano confirmed the veteran receiver had sustained yet another concussion, discussions inside the team's usually jovial locker room took a serious turn out of concern for their friend.

"It's scary, especially with all the information that's been coming out the last two years or whatever," said cornerback Jerraud Powers, who came to Indy in the same 2009 draft class as Collie. "You see someone, you want what's best for them, and he's a smart enough guy that he'll make the right decisions. He's a heck of a player."

With Andrew Luck replacing Peyton Manning, Collie and five-time Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne are expected to help Luck make the transition from college to the NFL and mentor a receiving corps that is almost entirely new.

As a rookie in 2009, Collie caught 60 passes for 676 yards and seven touchdowns, helping Manning win his second AFC title before coming up short against New Orleans in the Super Bowl.

Things haven't gone nearly as smooth the last two seasons.

In early November 2010, the former BYU star was knocked unconscious after a vicious high-low combination from two Philadelphia Eagles safeties. He sat out the next week against Cincinnati, then tried to return the following week against New England but left early with what the team described as concussion-like symptoms. Team officials never confirmed it was a full-blown concussion.

Collie didn't return again until Dec. 19 against Jacksonville, a game in which he took another big hit and was diagnosed with a second full-blown concussion, ending his season.

When Collie returned last year, he insisted he was OK. He finished with 54 receptions, 514 yards and one TD — all career-lows — but, of course, Indy didn't have Manning, used three different quarterbacks and collapsed to a league-worst 2-14 record.

Now the questions about his health are back. Collie left Sunday night's preseason game in the first quarter after Steelers linebacker Larry Foote hit Collie in the head with a forearm, leaving Collie briefly on the ground.

Jaguars to play four games in London

The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be England's team.

The NFL and the Jaguars announced Tuesday that the small-market franchise will play one home game in London for four consecutive seasons beginning in 2013 — a step the team believes will broaden its fan base and take some pressure off locals who have mostly failed to fill the stands in recent years.

"I passionately believe the big growth now is going to come from overseas," owner Shad Khan said. "We've got to go where we can leverage and take advantage of some of those things. You've got to fish in ponds where you've got fish in there. We're going to a pond where there are no fishermen."

The Jaguars will play at historic Wembley Stadium, which has hosted one NFL game annually since 2007.

Around the league

Seahawks • Coach Pete Carroll announced that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will start against Kansas City on Friday. Also, rookie Bobby Wagner (a former Utah State star) was named the starter at middle linebacker after the Seahawks traded veteran Barrett Ruud to New Orleans on Monday.

Jets • New York gave embattled right tackle Wayne Hunter a much-needed day off from practice Tuesday. The offensive lineman had a lousy performance in the Jets' 26-3 loss to the Giants on Saturday night. He played a part in three sacks of Mark Sanchez, and there would've been a fourth if it hadn't been negated by a penalty.

Giants • Despite developing a blood clot in his left leg a little more than a week ago, there is a chance defensive tackle Shaun Rogers might play this season. Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Tuesday that the 12-year-veteran got a second opinion about his injury, and the team has "a ray of hope" that Rogers will be able to get back on the field.

Redskins •Clinton Portis is announcing his retirement, nearly two years after he played his last NFL game. Portis played two seasons with the Denver Broncos and then seven with the Redskins. Washington cut Portis after a torn groin muscle ruined his 2010 season. He was unable to find another team and ends his career 77 yards shy of 10,000, No. 27 on the NFL's all-time list.






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