Packers Beer Mug Perspective: The Future of Nick Collins

Packers Beer MugToday is the day – the day when Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins should receive his medical recommendation on whether he can play again the NFL.  After going through a battery of tests in New York this past week, he will finally have the information to start making a decision about his future.

It was Week 2 of last season when Packers fans held their breath as Nick Collins lay still on the turf. The injury seemed minor at first. Collins had stretched himself out to tackle an oncoming Jonathan Stewart when his head collided with the running back’s leg. He felt some numbness in his limbs but fortunately did not suffer any level of paralysis.

Tests would later show that he had a herniated disk between the C-3 and C-4 vertebrae. Collins underwent cervical fusion surgery on Sep. 29, a procedure where the disk is removed and replaced with a bone graft that fuses the vertebrae together over time.

Quarterback Peyton Manning underwent the same surgery less than a month earlier.

Regardless of what information Nick Collins receives today, Mike McCarthy made it apparent that this would just be the start of the decision to return or retire, not the conclusion.

“I anticipate that [the doctors] are going to say it’s a very positive report because I know they felt good about the surgery,” said McCarthy at the NFL owners meeting in Florida last week. “To me, that’s really the first step. Then our doctors have to get involved and we’ll all sit down and talk to Nick and see where Nick is, so it will be a process that we’ll go through.”

Since his injury about 6 months ago, the big question on the mind of Packer Nation has been: Will Nick Collins return to playing football with the Green Bay Packers?

In this installment of the Packers Beer Mug Perspective, we’ll take a look at the issue from both angles, then determine whether our mug is really “half empty” or “half full.”


According to Mike McCarthy, the tests for Nick Collins have been “very positive” up to this point. There stands a good chance that spinal surgeon Dr. Frank Cammisa will return with news that Collins’ chances for serious injury are minimal, or at least no greater than for any football player in his position.