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Alex Collins' visor helps Ravens RB avoid migraines

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  • By Thomas Warren NFL.com
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Ravens running back Alex Collins has been a headache for defenders this season largely because of the dark-shaded helmet visor he wears that has helped control his long-time issue with migraines.

"I'm used to playing with them and dealing with it," Collins said, via the team's website. "Some are a little more severe than others, but for the most part, I'll push through it."

The migraines are a problem the second-year back out of Arkansas has dealt with since high school when he says they caused him to throw up before games. Collins said the visor has done its job well enough lately that he has not suffered one the past few weeks. The benefit was on full display last Sunday when Collins dashed around and ran through the Steelers' defense for a season-high 120 yards rushing on 18 carries in a 39-38 loss.

Collins said he got clearance from the league to wear the visor in the preseason.

Despite the threat of the debilitating headaches, Collins has enjoyed a breakout season, already rushing for a career-high 825 yards. He's on pace to easily eclipse the coveted 1,000-yard mark. His 5.1-yard average is fourth in the league and he ranks in the top 10 with six runs of at least 20 yards.

The way he describes his migraines, it's a wonder Collins can function with one, let alone try to avoid crushing blows from defenders trying to knock his block off.

"What really activates the migraines is just, when everyone looks at the sun, you have to put your hand over your eyes to block the sun, and you have to squint your eyebrows. For most people, that doesn't bother them -- they're just blocking the sun. But for me, that strain is what stimulates the migraine," Collins said, per ESPN. "Just from straining my eyes trying to focus on something, and playing out there at that speed, just straining and trying so hard to block out the sun is when the migraines really come in. But, when I'm able to play with a relaxed face out there, just reading my keys and doing what I need to be doing without that strain on my eyes, then the migraines don't happen."

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