No one, it seems, could explain why Jalen Collins was running with the second, third, and even fourth-team defenses at training camp, and yet he was. It seemed like an odd measure for a young, capable cornerback who proved his worth in the second half of the 2016 season. Now we have an explanation, and it’s an extremely unfortunate one.
Collins has been suspended for the first ten games of the 2017 season after violating the league’s policy for performance enhancing substances. We have no idea what the substance in question is, but this is the second time in two seasons Collins has been punished for a violation, and he missed four games in 2016. It’s safe to say this puts Collins’ future with the team in doubt in a very, very major way.
Read this quote from Thomas Dimitroff and tell me if it doesn’t sound like the team may just wash its hands of Collins when he returns from his suspension, especially after Collins did not acknowledge the impending suspension in an interview with ESPN.
“We are extremely disappointed that for the second straight season we are dealing with a suspension for Jalen. Such are the consequences when certain choices are made. Our decisions going forward will be based on what Dan and I feel is best for the team.”
In the short term—and we’ll cover this more going forward—this greatly increases the chances that someone like Deji Olatoye makes the team as the final cornerback, and if he can impress, he may stick around post-suspension. The team has the depth and talent at cornerback to survive this, but I’m pretty disappointed myself given what I think of Collins as a player. He’s still just 24 years old, but his future is now very uncertain.