Safety Nick Collins, a three-time Pro Bowler for the Green Bay Packers, will finish the year on injured reserve after suffering a neck injury against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The heartbreaking news was delivered as the first point of order in Mike McCarthy’s press conference this afternoon.
“It’s tough. It’s something you never get used to as a coach,” McCarthy said. He offered no further details, but said it was too early to tell if he would require surgery.
Collins was injured in the fourth quarter of the game after an attempted tackle on Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart. During the play, Stewart tried to hurdle the oncoming Collins, whose head hit the underside of the runner’s leg. Collins’ neck bent awkwardly on the hit and sent him to the ground, face down and motionless.
While being carted off the field, Collins gave a slight wave to the crowd, signaling that he dodged the worst.
McCarthy mentioned during the post-game press conference that Collins was “still under evaluation” but that “all the feedback so far [was] positive.” The Green Bay Packers website later released a statement saying, “Nick Collins has normal feeling and complete movement in his extremities. As is standard protocol, he will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation.”