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Collins Active for AFC Championship
Sunday, Jan. 24
Latest on Collins' Practice Status
Thursday, Jan. 21
The team announced Collins was a limited participant in Thursday's session.
Collins' Return a Boost to Patriots Defense
Collins, 26, has established himself as a crucial member of the Patriots defense over the last three seasons. He was again excellent in 2015, notching 89 tackles, 5.5 sacks, an NFL-best five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and an interception in just 12 games.
While New England's offense—led by a devastating passing attack and superstars like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski—often gets the credit, New England's defense has been a major reason why the team earned a first-round bye in this year's postseason. Collins is the leader of that solid defense, and his loss would've been a major blow for New England.
Jonathan Freeny, who has stepped in for Collins when he's been unable to play in 2015, will again be called upon to fill in for the star linebacker if Collins is forced to miss additional game time this postseason. Freeny has played well this year, registering 50 tackles, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a sack.