The status of wide receiver Austin Collie dominated a teleconference with Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano on Monday afternoon.
While Indianapolis is coming off a 26-24 preseason loss at Pittsburgh Sunday night, it was Pagano’s update on the condition of Collie — who suffered a concussion in the first half of the game — that understandably garnered the most attention.
The fourth-year veteran, who had at least four other concussion-related episodes during the 2010 season, went to the sidelines after being sandwiched between two Pittsburgh defenders as he tried to catch a pass from rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. He did not return for the remainder of the evening.
Pagano, though, offered up some somewhat positive news about Collie’s condition.
“Austin did suffer a concussion. He came in [Monday], felt really good, was examined by the doctors and basically is going to be day-to-day. He felt really good coming out of the game [Monday] morning after being evaluated,” the first-year Colts coach said, adding that Indianapolis medical officials are going to keep a close eye on Collie for the next several days.
“Again, player safety is first and foremost. We are always going to err on the side of caution as we talked about before. I’m more interested in the health of these guys than just throwing them back out there. Obviously, [Collie] came in and felt really good [Monday], which was positive for us. We’ll just take it day-to-day with him but we’ll be smart.”
Per National Football League concussion protocols, Collie will have to undergo medical and physiological testing before he will be allowed back on the practice field. As for returning to play in an actual game, there is currently no timetable for when that might happen.
“[Medical personnel] look at what happened on the tape. They got the guy up in the box, the doctor, and he’ll say he did a take a shot, blow to the head, so to speak,” Pagano explained. “They come in and evaluate him and once they do determine he had a concussion, he’ll go through a battery of tests throughout the week. Like I said, it’ll be day-to-day and you just see how they progress.”
n Possible fine? — The Colts coach opted not to guess on whether Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote could incur a fine from the NFL for his collision with Collie. It appeared as if Foote’s forearm banged into the side of the receiver’s helmet at the end of the play.
“That will be up to the league to decide when they review the tape. Those things happen so fast. They’re bang-bang plays, a lot of them, as you guys know. That’s totally up to the league to decide,” Pagano voiced.
n More injury news — Besides Collie, defensive end Cory Redding left Sunday night’s game in the first quarter after suffering a sprained medical collateral ligament in his left knee. Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, meanwhile, incurred a sprained shoulder against the Steelers and was forced to the sidelines.
Neither Redding’s nr Mathis’s injuries appear to be serious.
“Cory Redding’s MRI came back and he’s got a mild MCL sprain. It could be a week or so. We’ll see how that thing progresses. Mathis is fine. We had a bunch of guys with nicks and bruises, but basically those are the two major ones,” Pagano said.
n Thoughts on the loss to the Steelers — Finding positives in a loss is not always easy for coaches. But after the Pittsburgh game, the Colts coach admitted that he liked most of what he saw from his players.
Indianapolis got into a 14-0 hole early in the first quarter and then rallied to take a 17-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. It took a late fourth-quarter field goal, a kick that was partially blocked by the Colts and bounced over the goal posts, to finally settle the outcome.
“Obviously, really happy. It just shows this team’s fortitude and resiliency. They’ve got great heart. [Pittsburgh is] not an easy place to play, we all know that. It’s a really good football team, great organization. Playing at Heinz Field is a tough place to play,” Pagano voiced.
“Digging yourself a hole and then being able to come back and put together a bunch of stops on defense, play really well on special teams, have a couple 80-yard drives, and really a third [offensive drive that ended with a deflection interception]. We were real excited about the performance of the team coming off of such an important start.”
On the partially blocked field goal, third-year defensive tackle Jason Shirley (6-foot-5, 329) hurdled a couple of Pittsburgh offensive linemen to get his hand on the ball.
“Looking at the tape, Jason Shirley is not a small man. To do what he did athletically and jump over the protection unit from Pittsburgh and get a hand on that thing … unfortunately for us it still went through,” the Colts coach said.
“I told the team afterwards, there’s 20 seconds on the clock and they’re still fighting tooth and nail to pull that thing out and come home with the win.”
n Practice this week — The Colts will play their second straight preseason road game at 4 p.m. Saturday, traveling to Fed Ex Field for the much-anticipated matchup between Luck and Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
It will be a short practice week with workouts scheduled today, Wednesday and Thursday. Indianapolis will not have a Friday practice due to travel considerations.
NFL teams will begin making mandatory roster cuts next Monday.