CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18: Play is stoped as Nick Collins #36 of the Green Bay Packers is injured and taken off the field on a stretcher against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The serious neck injury that Green Bay Packers S Nick Collins suffered during the game against the Panthers looked really bad as he was carted off the field. Then there was some good news that he seemed just fine, but that is all over. The Press-Gazette has now reported that he will be lost for the season.
However, it's not exactly clear what's wrong with him. The Press-Gazette reports that he has a headache, but otherwise he seems fine, only there appears to be something bad on the MRI and maybe he's got a problem with a disc. If you've been reading anything on Peyton Manning's possibly career ending neck injury, the same thing probably applies to Collins. It's a little too early to tell. Flashbacks to the end of WR Sterling Sharpe's career have come to mind. For older folks like myself, I've also thought about CB Tim Lewis.
So where does this leave the Packers in 2011? The good news is that the Packers have a lot of depth in the defensive backfield, but the first answer to any injury replacement unfortunately involves the name "Jarrett Bush." Though in this situation, it would be a surprise if anyone other than S Charlie Peprah replaced Collins. S Morgan Burnett has been doing a fair imitation of Collins over the first two games of the season, so in a way this will put the Packers right back where they were in 2010.
My dreams of an All-Pro secondary are gone without Collins, but having Peprah available to step back into the role he played for most of 2010 makes this situation manageable.