Richard Collier's career in the NFL is over. A month after a horrific shooting, the Jaguars's offensive lineman pays the near-ultimate price. Instead of his life, he loses his leg. Last month he was the first of three injuries to the Jaguars's offensive line. While the other two were due to football injuries, Colliers was not. He was shot. Fourteen times to be exact.
He was with former teammate Kenneth Pettway waiting for two women (whom they probably met just that night) when a gunman fired into there vehicle. Pettway was luckily uninjured, but Collier is lucky to be alive from an attack like that.
However doctors felt it was necessary to amputate his left leg, and he is paralyzed from below what is left of his waist. According to Andy Kerwin, his doctor, he suffered gunshot wounds to his back, right buttock, left groin, his left leg. He had five bullets taken out of his urinary bladder, and suffered pneumonia, a number of infections, and renal failure after the fact. Worst of all, a bullet severed his spinal cord, which caused the paralysis. His injuries to his groin and leg lead to his amputation. He will have to undergo physical therapy to transport himself from his bed to his wheelchair, but doctors say he will never walk again.
This is just the latest in recent NFL attacks. Free safety Sean Taylor, of the Washington Redskins, (may he rest in peace) was murdered in his home last November during a failed burglary. His death is largely what propelled his team to a playoff spot last year. Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was also murdered when his rented limousine was repeatedly shot, killing Williams and wounding three other people.
Richard Collier, I think, is the worst one yet. While it is sad that Williams and Taylor are gone, it is more tragic to live with only one leg and he can't even use that leg. Richard Collier is suffering a fate, I believe, worse than death. He is forever thinking "what if" about his career and he is only 26 years old. He will live a lifetime of pain and reminder of how his career and the game that he loved was taken from him.
We as the writers of Bleacherreport should extend our deepest sympathies to him. We must pay a tribute to one of America's great athletes, and pray for him as he still struggles to live. He is a great loss to football. As a person, as a player, as a teammate. God be with him and his loved ones.
Richard Collier. May Jesus or whoever your god is, be with you.