Once a premier slot receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, Austin Collie is now starring in Canada after concussion concerns contributed to the demise of his NFL career.
Collie hauled in five passes for 65 yards and a 26-yard touchdown in his Saturday debut with the CFL's BC Lions.
Although Collie has had a few NFL tryouts, he hasn't suited up for an NFL game since catching five passes for 72 yards for the New England Patriots in the postseason a year and a half ago.
"I just felt like I wasn't done," Austin told the Salt Lake Tribune last week. "That feeling of not being done, that's what kept my drive going."
Collie, 29, lost a step following a patellar tendon tear in 2012. He believes it's the stigma of three concussions, however, that has cost him another shot at the NFL.
"The bottom line is, if those didn't happen when they did, right at the height of the concussion discussion, I'd probably still be playing," Collie told the Vancouver Sun in late March. "Everybody can comment on it. Everybody has their opinion. But I'm not them. Football is a childhood dream for me. It's a way to provide for my family and play a game I love. To not be playing, because of a label, is hard. I've been labelled."
Collie regularly visits Cognitive FX, a concussion rehabilitation and research clinic in Provo, where he undergoes testing to ensure that his brain "stays sharp and stays strong."
If he shines for a year in the CFL, perhaps it will lead to another NFL opportunity in 2016.