Austin Collie keeps telling the Indianapolis Colts he feels well.
Teammates and coaches are praying he is.
Less than 24 hours after coach Chuck Pagano confirmed the veteran receiver had suffered yet another concussion, discussions inside the team’s usually jovial locker room took a serious turn out of concern for their friend.
“It’s scary, especially with all the information that’s been coming out the last two years or whatever,” said cornerback Jerraud Powers, who came to Indy in the same 2009 draft class as Collie. “You see someone, you want what’s best for them, and he’s a smart enough guy that he’ll make the right decisions. He’s a heck of a player.”
He’s also a player the young Colts desperately need this season.
With Andrew Luck replacing Peyton Manning, Collie and five-time Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne are expected to help Luck make the transition from college to the NFL and mentor a receiving corps that is almost entirely new.
Collie emerged quickly as a rookie, catching 60 passes for 676 yards and seven touchdowns.
Things haven’t gone nearly as smooth the past two seasons.
In early November 2010, Collie was knocked unconscious after a vicious high-low combination from two Philadelphia Eagles safeties. He sat out the next week against Cincinnati, then tried to return the following week against New England but left early with what the team described as concussion-like symptoms.
Collie didn’t return again until Dec. 19 against Jacksonville, a game in which he took another big hit and was diagnosed with a second full-blown concussion, ending his season.
When Collie returned last year, he insisted he was OK. He finished with 54 receptions, 514 yards and one TD.
Now the questions about his health are back. Collie left Sunday night’s preseason game in the first quarter after Steelers linebacker Larry Foote hit Collie in the head with a forearm, leaving Collie briefly on the ground.
Pagano said Monday, following the diagnosis, that Collie would be day-to-day and that the team would be cautious before using Collie again.
Jags playing in London
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be England’s team. The NFL and the Jags announced Tuesday the team will play one home game in London for four years in a row.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and team owner Shad Khan made a joint announcement about the move in Jacksonville. The small-market franchise will play four games at Wembley Stadium, one every season beginning in 2013.
Around the league
Clinton Portis is announcing his retirement, nearly two years after he played his last NFL game. Portis will hold a retirement news conference Thursday. … The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are giving Jordan Shipley a chance to revive his NFL career just a few days after the 26-year-old wide receiver was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bucs, who have been erratic on special teams, will give Shipley a look as a punt returner and a slot receiver. … Retired quarterbacks Phil Simms, Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein will host a new NFL studio show on Mondays, beginning Sept. 10. It’s the first NFL show on cable channel CBS Sports Network. … The Minnesota Vikings announced that Adrian Peterson will skip exhibition games and test his surgically repaired knee in practice over the next two weeks.