Chicago Bears  

 

Bears QB Collins passes exit physical, weighing career options

Chicago Bears quarterback Todd Collins came out of Sunday's NFC Championship Game loss with a sore shoulder and back after replacing injured starter Jay Cutler for a short time. But Collins was able to clear his exit physical Tuesday and didn't require an MRI on the shoulder at that time.

NFL Network and NFL.com reported Monday that Collins was expected to have an MRI, but he wound up being fine following his physical and returned home to Boston thereafter.

Collins initially nicked the shoulder on a third-quarter hit from Green Bay Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji and physically could have returned to the game. But Bears coaches decided at that point to pull Collins in favor of third-stringer Caleb Hanie, who nearly rallied the team to victory.

Collins, a 16-year veteran, is expected to take his time in deciding whether or not to return for another season.

Had Collins' injury required surgery, it likely would have meant the end of his career, which started with the Buffalo Bills and also took him to the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins.

Collins, 39, has thrown for 4,547 yards and 22 touchdowns with 24 interceptions in his career. He has started in just four games since 1997, when he was the Bills' No. 1 quarterback.

Collins signed a one-year deal with the Bears in August, but he played in just two regular-season games, completing 10 of 27 passes for 68 yards and no touchdowns with five interceptions. If Collins decides to keep playing, the Oakland Raiders could be an option since they just hired former Redskins offensive coordinator Al Saunders.

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