News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 4, 2012

Colts clear Collie to play against Bears

‘Full go,’ coach says of wide receiver who’s had 4 concussions in 3 years

Tom James
Tribune-Star Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — Austin Collie has been given a green light to play Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, who has battled concussion issues since the start of the 2010 season, fully practiced Monday after missing the team’s final two preseason games. Collie, who is in his fourth year with Indianapolis, had three diagnosed concussions in 2010 and then suffered a fourth in the Colts’ preseason loss at Pittsburgh on Aug. 19.

“Full go,” is how coach Chuck Pagano described Collie’s availability for the Colts’ 2012 season opener at Soldier Field. “[He looked] great. Fresh legs. Ran all over the place. Caught everything. Looked good.”

Pagano added that he isn’t worried about Collie having stamina problems despite missing the last two weeks of practice.

“We put him through a pretty extensive practice [Monday] indoors. It’s muggy in there. It’s hot in there. There’s not a lot of air flow. And he could run all day,” he said. “I didn’t see him once take a knee, walk back to the huddle. He was fresh as a daisy. No, I’m not concerned at all.”

n Colts getting ready for Chicago — Pagano thinks his team is ready to begin the regular season Sunday against the Bears.

“We had a spirited practice [Monday morning]. Friday afternoon and then Saturday and Sunday off helped. Got the legs back underneath them. Got a lot of good work done in preparation for Chicago,” the Colts coach said.

“Got a great start. Got some guys back that were nicked up. A few guys just went through some individual stuff. [I] expect more guys back on Wednesday. But overall, great start for getting ready for the Bears.”

Pagano’s first Colts squad has a lot of questions surrounding it and for good reasons — massive roster shift, new head coach, new general manager. Indianapolis has gone from being one of the most experienced and battle-tested teams in the NFL to one of the youngest and least experienced.

But Pagano — after a spring of OTAs and mini-camps, a three-week training camp and four preseason games — is ready to see how his team responds once the regular season gets under way.

“You could tell from the moment you walked in the [Colts complex Monday] morning. From the first meeting until we just broke it down [at the end of practice]. Everybody’s really anxious. Got a lot to do though. Got a lot of work ahead of us,” he voiced.

“It’s different. Electricity is in the air. Guys got a little bounce in their step. Again, they had some time off so I’m sure they were eager to get back to work. Probably got kicked out of the house like we all did. You can sense it. Their attention to detail was better. The meetings were excellent. We put them through a pretty good walkthrough before we even practiced. And then we put them through a good pace [in practice]. They were focused. They’re all willing to put the time and work in to make sure that we go out there and give ourselves a chance to win on Sunday.”

n Roster moves — Over the weekend, Indianapolis added three players to the active roster. Former Notre Dame safety Sergio Brown was claimed off waivers from New England while offensive tackle Mike Person (San Francisco); and nose tackle Martin Tevaseu (Jets) were also acquired via the waiver wire.

The Colts added running back Alvester Alexander and offensive tackle Darrion Weems to the team’s practice squad.

Alexander and Weems join defensive tackle Chigbo Anunoby, outside linebacker Jerry Brown, offensive guard Hayworth Hicks, tight end Kyle Miller and wide receiver Kashif Moore on the practice squad.

Weems is the only one of that group to not be with the team during training camp or the preseason. A rookie, he was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Minnesota. Rookie safety Latarrius Thomas was released from the practice squad to make room for Weems.

n Injury news — In addition to Collie, cornerbacks Jerraud Powers (shoulder) and Justin King (hip pointer) both went through individual drills Monday and are expected to play Sunday.

Defensive end Cory Redding (knee) did some light work Monday and is slated to participate in individual drills on Wednesday. Running backs Delone Carter (ribs) and Melwelde Moore (ribs) are also expected to have their workload ramped up this week.

Offensive guard Mike McGlynn (ankle) practiced last week and should start against the Bears. Offensive guard Joe Reitz (knee), who saw limited work last week, is also expected back.