It would be petty cool if Nick Collins came back, right? Here he's congratulated by another #36, LeRoy Butler, following an interception back in 2009. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Does Nick Collins have a plan to return to the Green Bay Packers?

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When I first saw former Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins’ tweets from Monday, an ESPN 30 for 30 monologue began playing in my mind.

“What if I told you Nick Collins has been quietly working out on his own? What if I told you Collins got clearance by multiple doctors to resume his NFL career? What if I told you Nick Collins was about to become a Green Bay Packer again?”

Yeah, I know. It’s probably just fantasy. Collins has been out of action since sustaining a serious neck injury on a freak play against the Carolina Panthers in September

Nick Collins wants to play, or so it seems. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Nick Collins wants to play, or so it seems.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

2011, and his prospects for an NFL future have seemed over pretty much ever since. But yesterday two cryptic tweets came from his Twitter feed.

The first one:

 

 

A few hours later came this:

 

 

It’s clear by his feed that Collins has been working out; he posted the “selfie” below on Instagram just the other day, and he sure looks like he’s in shape. He also posted a video a few weeks back that show him running drills in a Superman T-shirt, and he looks like the same guy we knew before the injury.

And he was lobbying the Packers for a tryout as recently as early December: “The pack should invite @nickdapick36 in for some tryouts over the off season. Give him a chance, God certainly did.”

Collins was the guy who, along with cornerback Charles Woodson, really made the Packers’ defense the ball-hawking threat it was until 2011, when the wheels came off after he and Woodson were injured. Now Collins continues to root for the Packers (again, just look at his Twitter feed) and work out.

So what do those posts from Monday mean? Is there news he hasn’t officially shared? Is he taking it to the Packers’ front office first?

Let’s look back at his stats: This is a guy who notched 340 total tackles, 21 interceptions (17 of those in his final three full seasons), 6 fumbles recovered and 4 touchdowns over his seven-year career with the Packers.  He also had the memorable pick-six off Ben Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl that changed the game’s momentum greatly.

Nick Collins "selfie" from January 2014, via Instagram.

Nick Collins “selfie” from January 2014, via Instagram.

Collins, still just 30 years old, is the kind of guy the Packers would love to have, even if only for a season or two to help shore up that sagging defensive back end and perhaps mentor any incoming, would-be future starters. He’s simply a guy Packers fans – hey, all NFL fans – like to root for.

I find it difficult to believe the Packers would risk bringing him back, especially since they declined previously, but what if there is new evidence proving his neck is stable? What if the neck has healed significantly since the last time Collins tried to get back onto the field?

His tweets certainly suggest something new is up. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

But what if I told you Nick Collins won’t give up until he gets a real tryout?

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