At what point is enough, enough?  When do the medical professionals, coaches, team executives and other supposedly sensible people in authority step in and protect a player from himself, and perhaps save his life?

Austin Collie

I sure hope the powers that be with the Indianapolis Colts are asking themselves these questions today about wide receiver Austin Collie, who has now suffered what has been confirmed as yet another concussion.

Two years ago, Collie incurred multiple concussions during games that season, capped off by a horrendous hit to the head in a December game against Jacksonville that should have ended any thoughts of him ever playing again.

But two seasons later Collie is still playing, well at least he was up until Sunday night’s nationally televised preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, when a forearm to the head left him woozy and concussed again.

There really shouldn’t be any debate about what the right thing to do is.  Honestly.  Ending his career either voluntarily or by force should be the only option.  But truth be told, that’s real life fantasy football.  It’s probably not going to happen that way.  And that’s too bad – too bad for Collie, too bad for his family, and it’s too bad for football.

I’m sure Collie will do everything in his power to try and get back on the field later this season.   That’s what football players do.  And sadly if history is any indication, the Colts management just like every other football team, will make sure that he gets the proper treatment and tests – the ones now mandated by the NFL – and if Collie is deemed healthy at some point, as he may well be, will allow him to play again.

But that goes against everything we are now learning about head injuries and the long term consequences of playing the high impact sport of professional football.

If there was ever a test case for how to properly handle the continuing incidences of head trauma in the NFL, it’s the potentially tragic case of Austin Collie.  Let’s hope and pray though that Collie, his family and the game of football won’t end up suffering from another bad decision.



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