Posted by Josh Katzowitz
Right now, we don’t know if Packers safety Nick Collins will ever play football again. Nobody does. Not after he underwent cervical fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk that he sustained in Week 2 vs. Carolina.
We actually won’t know for some time if Collins can return to the game. Probably for at least six months.
"He felt good about everything," his agent Alan Herman said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He felt it went well. The point that was made was you don't know until six months down the road. You see how the healing process goes.
"You can't gauge what will happen, whether there will be any narrowing with the (spinal) canal or remaining tissue. That will be the determining factor as far as his career. It's all based on the healing process."
But it seems clear that Collins -- who will miss the season (obviously) though he still hasn't been placed on injured reserve -- wants to play football again, because Herman told the paper that Collins wouldn’t have necessarily needed the surgery if he was going to retire (but if he wanted to play, he absolutely needed the surgery). Now, Collins will wear a hard collar that will restrict the movement of his head for several weeks. Then, he’ll begin using a soft collar and try to kick-start the process of returning to the game.
"It was a fluke hit," Herman said. "It was like Dennis Byrd, only a different result. It was a player with his neck extended at impact. These guys have these collisions every day. This one, he was just hit the wrong way. He was in an unfortunate position on the tackle."
Hopefully for Collins, his career doesn’t end because of it.
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