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Packers' McCarthy concerned about Collins' return

Nick Collins is determined to return to the secondary of the Green Bay Packers. Mike McCarthy isn't so sure.

"If Nick was my son," McCarthy told ESPN Wisconsin on Sunday, "I would not let him play."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week Collins will soon see a spinal specialist who will determine whether there's enough room in his spinal canal to allow him to play without a heightened risk of serious injury.

"When that day comes, I might be nervous, but right now I'm not really thinking about it," Collins said Thursday regarding the examination. "I've been a family man, working out and staying in shape. That's pretty much it."

Collins was injured on Sept. 18 while attempting to make a tackle against the Carolina Panthers. Collins remained down for several minutes before being carted off the field. The injury required surgery on a herniated disk in his neck.

“Dr. Pat McKenzie and our medical staff, they’re conservative by nature,” McCarthy said. “We’re not going to put him in harm’s way. If he’s on the field, he’ll be cleared, he’ll be 100 percent, everybody will be comfortable.”

The results of Collins' tests could affect the Packers' draft strategy next month. Collins was a Pro Bowler in three consecutive seasons before being injured, but Green Bay could be tempted to draft a player who can serve as Collins' replacement if need be.

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