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Crowd silenced in another Collie concussion

Crowd silenced in another Collie concussion

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SALT LAKE CITY - Peyton Manning and the injury depleted Indianapolis Colts looked to former BYU Cougar Austin Collie Sunday to be a redeeming factor in the Colts' recent troubles, as the team took on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Collie, who had missed the last two weeks after aggravating a previous concussion on Nov. 7 against the Philadelphia Eagles, returned in strong fashion, showing the home crowd why they've waited with anticipation for his eventual return.

Manning, too, enjoyed Collie's return, finding him for eight catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns before halftime.

Collie scored his first touchdown on the Colts' opening drive, catching a short pass from Manning for a seven-yard touchdown. Again in the second quarter, Manning found Collie on a deep pass for a 27-yard touchdown to put the Colts up 14-10 before halftime.

[I] just prayed for him. All football aside, you just hope he's safe.

–Robert Mathis

However, the celebration for the Colts was quickly silenced as Collie lay motionless on the ground after a hard hit to the head with 1:01 left in the second quarter.

The injury came on a third-and-12, when Manning threw a tight pass to Collie, who appeared to catch the ball between two defenders. Jaguars linebacker Daryl Smith hit Collie in the head with his forearm as he approached, knocking the ball out of Collie's hands and forcing him to the ground where he lay motionless for several minutes.

The excitement of the crowd was immediately silenced as everyone watched in anticipation of a lifeless Collie being attended to by several trainers and coaching staff. After several minutes, Collie stood up on his own and walked to the locker room to be checked out.

"I was just scared, then I was praying," Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said. "I was glad to see him moving. You hate to say you're relieved when you know it's just a concussion, but I am."

It has become a common theme lately to see Collie lying on the ground motionless after taking big hits. Since November 7, Collie has been removed from the game three times in seven weeks with concussion-related symptoms. The worst came on Nov. 7 when Collie was wheeled off the field on a stretcher against the Eagles.

"[I] just prayed for him," defensive end Robert Mathis said. "All football aside, you just hope he's safe." Collie was later seen on the sideline in the second half watching the game with injured Anthony Gonzalez.

The Colts have remained relatively quiet on Collie's injuries all year, but it appears that Collie has once again suffered from a concussion and is not expected to play the remainder of the season. Whether he plays come playoff time is still uncertain.

"I talked to him after the game and he said it's not as bad as last time," wide receiver Reggie Wayne said. "They are all bad. Whenever you see anybody go down, it's tough, and with Austin, it happening again, we hope he bounces back with a speedy recovery."

"The only update I can give you is he's doing OK right now," coach Jim Caldwell said. "He had a concussion, and he'll be evaluated further."

Despite all of his injuries, Collie has had a great year, leading the Colts in touchdowns eith eight, breaking his career record of seven. Collie still remains the third best receiver on the team with 58 catches for 649 yards. Earlier this season, Collie led the NFL in receptions but had thumb surgery, which kept him out for two weeks before suffering his first concussion of the season.

Last week, Collie's wife, Brooke, delivered their first child, a son.

"He's got a little man now," Mathis said. "You just pray for him and hope he comes out on the good side."

"He played great, he played great," Manning said. "He made two big catches, both touchdowns. You don't want to see anybody get injured on your teams, so your thoughts and prayers go out to him right away."

If the Colts continue to win, look to Collie to possibly make an appearance in the playoffs. However, it is likely that this may be it for him this season.


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Josh Furlong


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