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August 2, 2013
Collie on concussions: "I'm a smart kid. I'm not going to put myself at risk"

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"If a doctor came to me and said, 'Hey, you shouldn't be playing,' I wouldn't play," receiver Austin Collie said about an hour after his first practice with the 49ers wrapped up Friday.

With so much focus on head injuries in recent years, Collie has become as well known for concussions - he's had three since November 2010 - as he has for his receiving ability. But Collie said that he hasn't heard that message from doctors because he continues to pass the neurological exams given him.

"I have a pretty good self awareness of where I'm at with my body," he said. "I'm a smart kid. I'm not going to put myself at risk. And every doctor I talked to said, 'You can play. You're ready to go.'"

Collie, 27, said he had workouts with four teams before signing a one-year deal with the 49ers today, and that most of them examined his head. That includes the Jets, who, Collie said, gave him a "thorough neuro-psyche test."

"Like I said - passed 'em all," he said. "To be honest with you, I don't think I needed those tests to know that. I know where my head's at. Before I injured my knee (last season), I was cleared to play. I knew I was fine."

The former Oak Ridge High (El Dorado Hills) standout also worked out for the Dolphins and Patriots. He said the Seahawks were one of several other teams that inquired but that they never set up a workout.

Collie missed most of last season with the Colts with a torn patella. He declared that injury 100 percent recovered as well, although he said the 49ers' plan was to take him along slowly in his first week of training camp.

Collie, who caught a pass from Colt McCoy Friday, said it had been 10 months since his last football practice. "It felt awesome," he said. "I've been working for it for a long time, working hard, rehabbing hard and just to make sure I get the opportunity to come out here and put on a helmet."

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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