Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Back on the sidelines

December 19, 2010 - Indianapolis, Ind. : Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie, left, falls to the turf, apparently knocked out, after taking a hit by Jacksonville linebacker Daryl Smith on a second-quarter pass play during the Colts' 34-24 win over the Jaguars on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Collie scored two touchdowns in the first half and was in his first game back with the Colts after suffering a concussion earlier in the season. Photo by Chad Ryan.

After not covering much pro football this year, I found myself back on the sidelines at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 19. I had only photographed the Indianapolis Colts' preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers and then Manning Bowl when the New York Giants rolled into town back in September. Needless to say, I was itching to get back at it.

The Colts certainly did what they had to do to win that game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but in the process they might have taken yet another hit to the team. Colts receiver Austin Collie was on track to have a career day after catching eight passes, two of which were for touchdowns in the first half. But in the second quarter, Collie took a brutal hit to the head from Jacksonville linebacker Daryl Smith as he tried to make a catch in tight coverage. Collie appeared to have been knocked out immediately, and his helmet bounced of the turf. Collie was playing in his first game back after suffering a concussion from a similar situation just about a month earlier.

I shot the play from about 25 yards away, and judging by his body in this picture I'm saying he was unconscious before he hit the floor.

This was a scary moment because Collie was motionless for several minutes before training staff got him turned over and moving again. Reports are out now that Collie has another concussion, and I have to wonder not only will he play again this year, but if he'll ever play again. I'm guessing after watching that hit, his wife would prefer him to find another line of work. But players want to play, and Collie is certainly a football player.

December 19, 2010 - Indianapolis, Ind. : Indianapolis Colts receiver Pierre Garcon, left, and linebacker Tyjuan Hagler celebrate in the end zone after Hagler picked up a Jacksonville Jaguars onside kick and ran for a 41-yard kickoff return to seal the Colts' 34-24 AFC South divisional victory over the Jaguars on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Photo by Chad Ryan.


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