Tom Silverstein of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote yesterday about how Green Bay Packers’ safety Nick Collins hopes that he’ll be able to return for the 2012 season. While the ultimate decision will be made by Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson regarding Collins’ future, the basic fact still remains that Collins wants to play, if he can.
And if Collins wants to play, then let him play. One look at the defensive unit from the 2011 season and it’s pretty clear to see that the Packers could use Collin’s playmaking ability back on the field.
Not only was Collins a leader for the defense, he was also one of the most consistent performers and a perennial Pro Bowl player. That type of talent isn’t replaced overnight. Heck, that type of talent isn’t replaced over a year, or even two years.
If Collins isn’t 100 percent healthy and ready to go, then he shouldn’t play. No one would criticize him for that decision. No one would consider him less of a man, or less of a football player. We’re talking about a man’s life and health and that trumps football every single time.
However, if Collins is completely healthy, gets the go-ahead from numerous doctors and the Packers won’t let him return, that is an entirely different matter. Not allowing someone to do what they want takes away free will. Without free will, we have nothing.
We’re all familiar with how McCarthy feels about the return of Collins. Jason Wilde from ESPN wrote back in March on how McCarthy wouldn’t let him play if he was his son. Collins clearly isn’t McCarthy’s son, but the statement still gave great insight as to how McCarthy might lean when making his decision on Collins’ future.
If Collins was my son, and the doctors said he was at full strength, and he told me he wanted to play, I’d let him play in a heartbeat. Hopefully Thompson and McCarthy, when the ultimate decision needs to be made, have the same fatherly instincts.