GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It's a new season but the same old problem for the Green Bay Packers: Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins was ruled out for the season Monday because of a neck injury, a continuation of the wave of ailments the team dealt with last season on its run to the Super Bowl.
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Collins was carried off the field on a stretcher Sunday after sustaining a frightening neck injury during the fourth quarter of Green Bay's victory at Carolina. Collins spent the night in the hospital and returned to Green Bay on Monday afternoon to meet with the team's medical staff.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Collins was present for a team meeting Monday, wearing a neck brace but otherwise in good spirits.
"It's tough," McCarthy said. "We've been through the injury stuff before, but it's something you never get used to as a head coach."
The team wasn't willing to disclose specifics of the injury, and McCarthy said it wasn't clear if Collins will need surgery. McCarthy couldn't immediately rule out the possibility that the injury could threaten Collins' career, because the safety is still being evaluated.
"You never take it lightly, that's for sure," McCarthy said. "I think it's really too early in the evaluation process to make those kind of statements."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press