Tag:Dennis Byrd
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:15 pm

Nick Collins has surgery; career on hold

CollinsPosted 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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Posted on: January 21, 2011 3:46 pm

Byrd wasn't sure inspirational speech was so good

Dennis Byrd (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Former Jets DE Dennis Byrd, whose career ended in 1992 after suffering a hit that left him temporarily paralyzed, gave the team pep talk last week that helped inspire New York to a big win against the Patriots.

At first, though, he thought the speech flopped, he told The Michael Kay show on ESPN Radio New York this morning (via sportsradiointerviews.com) .

“Initially, I was worried that what I had to say was going to flop because they were so quiet and they were so attentive,” Byrd said. "It was one of those things where you just had them as a captive audience and I was really, really thrilled to have the opportunity. They took what I said, they responded and it’s one of those things that resounds to an athlete. …

“The final thing I left them with, I told them this: It’s been 18 years since I played the game, 18 years since they cut this jersey off of my body laying there on that football field. And there hasn’t been a day (that goes) by, that I wouldn’t trade every physical possession that I have to play one more game, to be in one more play.”

Powerful words, for sure.

And his thoughts about participating in the coin flip this Sunday?

“To get to be any part of it, honestly, is an honor,” he said. “It’s been a very humbling and wonderful experience for me to get to be just a part of the piece of the puzzle. … The guys that are playing today are standing on the shoulders of the men that came before them. … It’s a precious gift that coach (Rex) Ryan is so interested and concerned with people understanding that there’s a history to this game.”

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