Indianapolis Colts receiver Austin Collie has been cleared to practice and is expected to play in Sunday’s season opener at Chicago.
The announcement came a little more than two weeks after Collie was diagnosed with his third full-blown concussion in less than 22 months. Coach Chuck Pagano said the team put Collie through a battery of tests before allowing him back on the field Monday.
Teammates and coaches insist Collie’s healthy.
“You talk to Austin, he acts like nothing ever happened,” said cornerback Jerraud Powers, a close friend of Collie’s. “I’m sure he’ll do what’s best for his family and himself, and when you see him out there, it gives us a lot of excitement.”
Having Collie back is a huge boost for a revamped Colts team looking to rebound from an awful 2-14 mark last season.
In three years, the Brigham Young alum has caught 172 passes for 1,839 yards and 16 touchdowns, and his experience should provide new quarterback Andrew Luck with another capable outlet against the Bears’ vaunted defense.
Around the league
Niners • San Francisco has lost a key member of its talented defense after placing starting linebacker Parys Haralson on injured reserve. Haralson is believed to have hurt his left arm during the first half of a preseason win at Denver on Aug. 26. San Francisco signed linebacker Clark Haggans to a one-year contract to help fill the void as the defending NFC West champions prepare for Sunday’s season opener at Green Bay.
Cardinals • Arizona signed offensive tackle Pat McQuistan, a six-year veteran from Weber State. McQuistan was released by Dallas on Friday as part of the Cowboys’ final roster cuts. The six-year NFL veteran played in 10 regular-season games and both postseason contests for New Orleans last season.
Jets • Coach Rex Ryan says New York will unveil a wildcat formation featuring backup quarterback Tim Tebow on Sunday against Buffalo. The Jets did not use the wildcat at all in the preseason, and failed to score a TD in their first three games.Bears • Linebacker Brian Urlacher (knee) returned to practice Monday for the first time since July 31, hoping to play in Sunday’s season opener against Indianapolis.
Chargers • Running back Ryan Mathews went going through individual drills for the first time since breaking his collarbone Aug. 9, and hopes to play against Oakland on Monday.
Browns • Rookie running back Trent Richardson returned to practice for the first time since undergoing knee surgery on Aug. 9, a strong sign he will play Sunday against Philadelphia.