After Austin Collie missed nearly all of the 2012 season due to a knee injury, the Indianapolis Colts released their fourth-year wide receiver over the weekend. Collie, who has worked through three injury-plagued years since his solid rookie campaign in 2009, is determined to get back on an NFL field, according to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.
Collie played in one game last season before rupturing his right patella tendon during Indianapolis's Week 3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was set to become a free agent this offseason, and the Colts decided they wouldn't make an effort to re-sign their former fourth-round NFL Draft pick. Despite his disappointment, Collie took the news with grace:
"They showed a lot of class," he said. "I told Mr. Irsay thanks for everything, thanks for giving me a shot. To hold that against them wouldn't be fair to myself or them. It's part of the business."
Now that his future is uncertain, Collie is eager to prove he can make an impact for another team. In nine games during his debut 2009 season, he caught 58 passes for 649 yards and eight touchdowns. In three seasons since, Collie compiled 1,194 yards and 10 scores. He has dealt with multiple concussions during his career, but those injuries haven't broken Collie's spirit:
"I'm playing," he told Chappell. "Right now, it would take a doctor to tell me, ‘You can't play anymore.' I feel like this is a gift that I've been given, and personally I feel I should still be doing it. That's just me."