Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 4/19/12
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The future of Packers safety Nick Collins is still unknown. The serious neck injury suffered by Collins in Week 2 of last season -- which later required single-fusion neck surgery -- has created doubt about whether the 28-year-old's football career will ever be able to continue. "We don't have any determination at this point," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said during a press conference Thursday afternoon. "It's still in process, which it has been. It's a process that continues. "I think it's more important to make the right determination than being fast. I'm sure (Collins) is anxious and all of our people are anxious. We'll see." In late March, Collins went through a series of tests with his surgeon, Dr. Frank Cammisa, the results of which have not yet been made available. Regardless of the results of Collins' tests, coach Mike McCarthy seemed hesitant about allowing him to play again. "If Nick was my son, I would not let him play," McCarthy told reporters at the NFL annual meetings in Florida. With one week before the draft, Collins was already hoping to have an answer by this point. As Collins cleared out his locker following Green Bay's playoff loss in January, the three-time Pro Bowl selection made it clear that he wanted to have a solution by mid-April so the Packers could draft accordingly, perhaps even selecting his replacement. Though it now seems unlikely Collins will have his answer in time for next Thursday's draft, Thompson insists that it won't change his strategy going in. "We feel like our roster is balanced enough overall," Thompson said. "We don't feel we have to target a particular position in the draft. That's not what we do, and we won't do it this year." The last safety drafted by the Packers was Morgan Burnett in the third round in 2010. Burnett entered last season playing next to Collins as a starting safety. After Collins was injured, Charlie Peprah stepped into that spot, but the results were mixed. Green Bay was the worst team in the NFL in passing yards allowed last season but led the league in interceptions. Behind Burnett and Peprah, the Packers have only two safeties on the roster, Anthony Levine and M.D. Jennings. Both players were signed by Green Bay as non-drafted free agents, Levine in 2010 and Jennings in 2011. If Collins is cleared to play by his doctors, it does not necessarily mean that he will be allowed to put on a Packers uniform again. That will, at least in part, be up to team physician, Dr. Pat McKenzie. It is possible, if McKenzie and the Packers organization do not clear him to play, that Collins could attempt to continue his career with another team. But if Collins is cleared by Green Bay's doctors and front office and does return to the field, he will be a significant addition in helping the Packers' attempt to regain their form from 2010, when a strong defense helped Green Bay win the Super Bowl. Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
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