Former BYU receiver Austin Collie has been working hard to catch the eye of NFL scouts after being released by the Indianapolis Colts due to injury concerns.
During his three-year career with the Colts, Collie suffered multiple concussions, one of which caused him to be knocked out cold during a play and carted off the field. In 2012 he ruptured a tendon in his knee, ending his season and requiring surgery.
Since then, he has been rehabbing and training at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis with free-agent receiver Deion Branch and former Indiana Pacers center Rik Smits.
According to USA Today, Collie's injuries could be seen by some NFL teams as a potential liability both on and off the field. Thousands of former players have brought lawsuits against the NFL regarding head injuries sustained during games.
Collie, however, is not worried about his health, saying that he understands the risks associated with playing in the NFL.
"The one with the stretcher, that was the pinnacle of when the whole concussion thing started, so it was easy to target somebody — me, in this case — and say, 'Look at what concussions can do. He'd better quit the game,' " Collie said to USA Today. "They're not going to have to worry about me suing. I'll hold myself to be accountable."
Collie, who said that he was encouraged to give the NFL another try by his wife, Brooke, says that his season-ending knee surgery is a blessing in disguise. The extended time off has given his body more time to heal properly from the concussions, and doctors have told him that his repaired knee could be stronger post-surgery than before the injury.
Despite the injuries, he is still on some NFL teams' radar as a potential replacement for players injured in camp or early in the season.
One anonymous NFC scout told USA Today, "It would be hard to establish him in a key role due to injuries, but as a fourth wide receiver who could step up in a pinch (this season), there could be some value."
Collie continues to stay optimistic about his chances of returning to the NFL.
"Call me naïve or optimistic, but I'm confident I'll be playing," he said. "Naïve optimism, I guess you can say. That's kind of the attitude you want to have, otherwise you're going to be wandering aimlessly around here."
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