Starter Pack: Nick Collins' return unlikely

A roundup of what's happening in the Green Bay Packers beat.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When former Packers safety Nick Collins tweeted a couple of things that made it clear he still has a strong desire to play in the NFL, it was worth wondering if something had changed medically.

That does not appear to be the case.

While our efforts to reach Collins and his agent, Alan Herman, were unsuccessful, ESPNWisconsin.com's Jason Wilde did reach Herman on Tuesday evening and discovered that nothing had changed and doctors still believe Collins' neck injury leaves him at too much risk to return to football.

It was unclear whether that was Collins' own doctor who performed the spinal fusion surgery on his C-3 and C-4 vertebra or the Packers' doctors who would not clear him to return following his 2011 injury.

Either way, it appears those who got their hopes up that the former Pro Bowl performer might return to save a defense that has never really replaced him will be disappointed.

In case you missed it on ESPN.com:

  • Shortly after writing about Collins, we embarked on the first of what we hope will be weekly Packers chats. Not surprisingly, there were many questions about Collins' possible return. You can read the entire chat transcript here.

  • Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, on his final ESPN Milwaukee radio show of the season, talked about his weekend in New York for the Super Bowl, whether or not the Packers can emulate the Seahawks' defense and more.

  • If you have an ESPN Insider subscription, you could find out what former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Herm Edwards thinks is the biggest question facing the PackersInsider this offseason. If you don't, well, you should get one because I'm not giving it away.

Best of the rest:

  • At ESPNWisconsin.com, you can listen to Rodgers' radio show in its entirety.

  • In the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Pete Dougherty wrote that Rodgers expects a smooth transition to new quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, who is expected to replace Ben McAdoo (who was hired as the New York Giants offensive coordinator last month).

  • In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tyler Dunne wrote that although Rodgers' collarbone injury was a reminder of how a quarterback's injury can derail a season, the Packers shouldn't curtail Rodgers' improvisational plays.

  • And finally, the Packers announced that they have hired veteran Wisconsin sports writer Cliff Christl as the team historian. Christl, who becomes the first person to have that role since Lee Remmel retired in 2007, is one of the most experienced and well-respected reporters that has ever covered the team. He has worked for both the Press-Gazette and Journal Sentinel and is one of the voters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.