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Packers Daily Links: Doctors Suggest Collins Could Play Again

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Packers Daily Links: Doctors Suggest Collins Could Play Again

In an in-depth examination of the risks and possibility that Packers safety Nick Collins could return to play football, several prominent spinal surgeons were interviewed by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Once everything is healed, the risks are minimal" said Pittsburgh Steelers' team neurosurgeon Joseph Maroon, also a clinical professor at the University of Pittsburgh. "But there's always that risk. Some choose to retire, some continue to play." That's where Collins is at right now. It's been reported he's has either met or will meet with some of the key decision makers in the Packers organization to discuss his future in football. No indication has been given when a firm decision on Collins' future will be made, but it could happen before the NFL Draft.

The Packers reportedly met with NFL Draft prospect Chandler Jones, according to Tyler Dunne of the Journal Sentinel. "His helicopter, 35½-inch wingspan and active hands stand out most," writes Dunne. "Jones says he has drawn interest from teams that use 4-3 and 3-4 schemes - he had workouts with the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars among others. Jones also met with the Green Bay Packers at the scouting combine." What the Packers have to decide is whether Jones is an ideal fit at outside linebacker in their defensive scheme. Some say he's a better fit for defensive end.

A film study of Boise State's Shea McClellin, including a brief interview quote, also comes from Tyler Dunne at JSOnline. "The Packers are interested in McClellin," writes Dunne. "In many ways, he's exactly the type of linebacker Kevin Greene covets. McClellin is intelligent, relies on strong fundamentals and has a no-quit playing style. Once projected as a fourth-rounder, McClellin's versatility seems to be driving him into the first-round discussion." McClellin looks to be one of the few players in the 2012 Draft that fit a combination of still being available at No. 28, perhaps being the best player available and filling a need of the Packers all at the same time.

Wide receiver Tori Gurley was invited to speak at the Sister Bay Lions Club Youth Night on Monday in Sister Bay, Wis. and Fox 11 in Green Bay interviewed him afterwards. “You can't control the things that go on in life: the only thing you can control is how hard you work,” Gurley said about the message he relayed to children. “Hopefully this message will work with someone, they take it and run with it.”

A feature on workout warriors in this year's NFL Draft class appears in the Journal Sentinel.

Packer Report has NFL Draft articles on Tulane linebacker Dezman Moses and another outside linebacker.

The Packers' 2012 regular season schedule is likely to be released on Tuesday Apr. 17 at 6 p.m. Central time, surmises Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette.

Brian Carriveau is a writer for Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (12) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lars's picture

Still no real news on Collins. He could play and he might not. If he does it probably won't be in Green Bay.

We were supposed to know in March, then in early April, then, by the draft. The longer this drags out, the more it looks like the Packers have moved on.

pkrNboro's picture

I agree with you, Lars.

Additionally, if everything was cool then why the agent-fanfare? The agent and co-agent were to travel to GB this week -- to alter the contract? provide for a release? be in attendance at retirement announcement? If all was OK, I don't see why those guys are around.

Another thing...
I don't like JS article. Sure some players can return, but the defensive backs are particularly at risk -- as pointed out by Hsu, in a study available via several web sources.

Oppy's picture

Hsu's findings only mention that DB's are more represented in his analysis than other positions due to the nature of the position- DB's suffer neck injuries more frequently than others.

His research and findings were about the percentage of NFL players who have had the vertebrae fusion procedure and successfully returned to active play in the NFL. If memory serves me right- I don't have the article in front of me- it was rather high (60-70 percent?). He also mentions the average post-op career span of those players who do return. I believe it was roughly three seasons.

I don't think he ever broaches the topic of a flat-out re-injury or re-aggravation of the injury at all.. Which means all we can take from this is that while more DB's suffer an injury that results in a fusion operation, that same pool of players also seem to recover and play again frequently as well. The article also mentions that risk of re-injuring the same column is almost nil once fused. Further neck injury may be at the same risk level for those who haven't previously suffered the neck injury as those who have had the procedure- Dr. Hsu's paper just did not focus on re-injury risks.

Chip Soup's picture

Yes, but "Can" return and "should" return are two different things. Don't do it, Nick.

Oppy's picture

The point of the paper Hsu publishes is to supply real-world data about the success rate of players who have had the surgery and returned to the game successfully.

If the data is positive, why not return? You take a calculated risk every morning you jump in your car for the morning commute. Playing football at all is a calculated risk. If- and this is a big if since the research paper in question did not focus on this- but if the risk of further injury is not any greater, what is the issue?

Chip Soup's picture

Oppy, I agree that a scientific approach looking at real comparable situations and drawing conclusions is a good place to start, and I agree with your premise that if the data is positive, then why not return? The problem here is that the risk to the same disk is reduced to almost zero, but the risk to the next one up or down is increased due to the reduced function of the fused area. The overall risk is also greater, since two of these injuries next to each other will almost certainly result in lifelong consequences. Using your commute example, it's like if after getting in one fender bender on the way to work, the next one is guaranteed to be much worse. One might decide to work from home at that point.

Oppy's picture

Is there an option to just not work at all? 'cuz I'd totally take that option.

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

i'm sorry if i don't understand the term correctly, but a 35-1/2" wingspan to me means the distance between the guy's fingertips when his arms are spread out wide is less than three feet.

which is it?:

1. it's a typo
2. i'm misunderstanding what 'wingspan' means
3. dude's a hobbit

Brian Carriveau's picture

I saw a picture of how they did it once. The lay face down on the ground and hold a stick as high as they can behind their back. They then measure from their back to how they can hold the stick.

Doug In Sandpoint's picture

That...that...dude looks like a hobbit.

JWBFP, you crack me up.

Oppy's picture

Average guy's wingspan is, roughly, equal to their height.

So, those numbers they are throwing out are only roughly half that distance- in other words, they're talking about a metric based on ONE arm, not both.

Brian's explanation makes perfect sense- basically from shoulder/back to fingertip. Figure a 6'3" guy should have roughly 75" span from fingertip to fingertip with arms outstretched in a "T", and that would be including the width of the back.

Nononsense's picture

I don't see the Agents going to the meeting as an ominous sign. Certainly if the Packers allow him to play there will be a clause in the contract that reduces his pay in the case of complications in or re-injury of the neck area.

Plus if they have him sign any kind of liability waiver, im sure he would want his agent there for that.

I know the Packers have been very reluctant to put players back in harms way once they suffer an injury of this nature but I think the Packers should respect his decision once they have all the facts and medical opinions in hand.

If he decides hes not going to retire then let the man play. Make him sign a waiver for the neck and let him get back to work.

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