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McCarthy: If Collins was my son, I would not let him play

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the Packers coach, Mike McCarthy would love to have Nick Collins back. And why not? He’s a three-time Pro Bowl player who at age 28 should still be in his prime. But McCarthy still can’t get the image out of his mind of Collins down on the field in Charlotte, N.C. after he sustained what would be a season-ending neck injury in Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers. Collins had cervical fusion surgery last September and could learn by the end of this week whether he’ll ever play football again. “That’s probably one of the worst parts of your job (as a coach),” McCarthy said during an interview today on the eve of the NFL annual meetings at The Breakers Hotel. “Walking out on the field, looking over a player — especially when it didn’t look very serious, and then you get out there — I don’t want to be put in that position again “And this is not about me. I’m just talking about, if that was my son, if Nick was my son, I would not let him play.” Collins has said all along that if doctors tell him he’s not at additional risk, then he will play. Otherwise he will retire. “I’ll tell you what (team physician) Dr. Pat McKenzie told me: It’s something that they feel very good about based on the last exam, and if he has a good chance just based on the way he’s progressing, but you don’t know,” McCarthy said. “He said it’s either yes or no.” McCarthy added: “We’re not going to put him in harm’s way. If he’s on the field, he’ll be cleared. He’ll be 100 percent, and everybody will be comfortable with it.”  

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