A couple of Eagles could be looking at possible fines and maybe even suspension after jarring hits knocked out Colts wideout Austin Collie out of the Eagles 26-24 win over Indianapolis Sunday.
Collie was sandwiched by safeties Quintin Mikell and Kurt Coleman while trying to haul in a long pass over the middle with about 2:30 left in the first half and the Colts trailing 16-7. It appeared that Coleman caught Collie in the head after the Indy wideout took a couple steps after making the grab.
The ball popped loose and Mikell picked it up but referees ruled the pass incomplete.
Collie was obviously hurt and appeared knocked out almost immediately. He lay motionless on the field for many minutes as trainers tended to him. Cameras did catch Collie moving his arms and left leg a little -- a good sign. He was eventually taken off the field on a stretcher.
Refs flagged Mikell for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty but it appeared that Coleman hit A.C. helmet-to-helmet.
Almost immediately Twitter went wild with posts hoping the best for Collie's recovery but also questioning not only the penalty but also the call in general -- like did Collie actually fumble the ball rather than drop it for an incompletion?
Coleman was likely only on the field at the time of the hit because starting free safety Nate Allen was out with a neck injury.
And don’t expect this hit to stay just on the field Sunday. With Collie hurt and with a flag thrown, Coleman and possibly Mikell could face NFL punishment and at worst would face plenty of criticism (and also support) in the court of pubic opinion this week.
With the NFL’s recent crackdown on hard defensive hits amidst concussions -- including one suffered by Birds wide receiver DeSean Jackson a few weeks back -- Coleman could face the wrath of league officials, possibly a fine and possibly worse.
But questions remained if any fine is deserved since Collie was already moving with the ball when the hit happened and it appeared as if Coleman was pulling back.
Coleman tried explaining the hit post game.
"I was just breaking on the ball. It was almost a collision between me and [Mikell]," Coleman said. "I was just playing football. I am sad to say he got hurt. You never want to see that."
So was Collie knocked into Coleman?
"Truthfully, I can’t say," the Eagles rookie said. "I felt like it was a bang-bang play. I kind of got a little knocked too. You probably got a better view than I did"
Collie was alert and moving after getting taken off the field. He was diagnosed with a concussion and would be traveling home with the Colts, Indy coach Jim Caldwell said.
"I won't go into all the details about it, but he took a pretty good hit," Caldwell said. "He was out, unconscious for a period of time."