After numerous concussions and a Patellar tendon tear, Austin Collie‘s career could be coming to an end — and that may not be a bad thing.
Currently the 27-year-old wideout is still fighting for a spot on the San Francisco 49ers roster. Collie did immediately impress in practice with his intelligence, route running and hands, but he still appears to be on the outside looking in.
Between Anquan Boldin, Marlon Moore, Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton and the newly acquired Jonathan Baldwin, the 49ers appear set at wideout — especially since they will have Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree returning before season’s end. That means that Collie will more than likely be cut before August 31.
He may be wise to call it a career at that point.
Considering how impressive Collie has been in practice, it certainly was surprising to not see him enter last week’s game until the very late stages. Perhaps head coach Jim Harbaugh is thinking more about Collie’s long-term future than he is about any potential short-term gains for his team.
Collie flashed in his first two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, catching 15 touchdowns and looking like a long-term complement to future Hall of Famer Reggie Wayne. However, after year two, Collie suffered multiple severe concussions before being sidelined almost the entirety of last year with a leg injury. It seems Collie’s body is trying to tell him something, and he would be wise to listen.
Nobody deserves to deal with the agony that many retired NFL players go through on a daily basis due to head injuries, and perhaps Collie should pay a visit to a few of them. He is no-doubt a great player who still possesses a lot of ability, but a game isn’t more important than your health.
I hope I’m wrong and that Collie can still have a long, productive and healthy career. However, at this point, that seems unlikely.