The Indianapolis Colts receiver joins long list of Peyton Manning targets ruled out by injury.
Concussion ends season for Austin Collie
Peyton Manning has lost another of his top targets. Austin Collie, the Indianapolis Colts receiver, suffered a concussion on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the team placed him on the injured-reserve list on Wednesday, ending his season.
Collie is in only his second year, but Manning feels like he is losing a veteran. Despite missing five games and more than a half in three others, Collie leads all Colts receivers with eight touchdown catches, is second in receptions (58) and third in yards (649).
"He's fast, he's got a good feel for zones, he understands defences," Manning said. "He has his physical talents, but also, his experience has helped him play at such a high level at such a young point in his career."
Collie was injured late in the first half against Jacksonville when the linebacker Daryl Smith appeared to hit him in the head with his forearm as Collie went low to make a catch. It was his second concussion of the season.
"He certainly is a guy that's going to be missed," said Jim Caldwell, the Colts' coach. "From a medical standpoint, we are concerned more about his health than anything else. This is the right thing for him at this particular time."
Manning had already lost Dallas Clark, the tight end, and Anthony Gonzalez, the wide receiver, for the season, and Joseph Addai, the running back, has missed the past eight games with a shoulder injury. But the Colts (8-6) are fighting for a play-off spot, and do not have time to feel sorry for themselves heading into Sunday's away game against the Oakland Raiders (7-7).
"It doesn't do you any good to think about who's not playing and who's not going to be available," Manning said. "You have to go with who's available, and feel like with who's available you can go out there and still make things happen."
Collie began to emerge as a go-to player when he caught seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in last year's AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets. He caught 11 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown in the season-opener this season against the Houston Texans, and two weeks later, he caught 12 passes for 171 yards and two scores against the Denver Broncos.
Collie's first concussion was the result of a frightening collision in the second quarter at Philadelphia in early November. He did not play against the Cincinnati Bengals the next week, then returned against New England the following week before leaving that game because he felt uncomfortable. He sat out three games before trying again on Sunday. He caught eight passes for 87 yards against the Jaguars before the hit by Smith.
"Obviously, it's disappointing for him," Manning said. "I know how hard he worked all off-season. I know how excited he was to be back the other day, and how well he was playing."
Blair White will step into Collie's role. The rookie has 30 catches for 284 yards and three touchdowns this season.