Collins, who started his 67th straight game, was hurt when hit
by Bruce Smith after releasing a pass on a play that was blown dead
for delay of game. Neither Collins nor Smith or referee Walt
Coleman heard the back judge blowing his whistle to signal the
Collins fell backward after being hit from behind by Smith and
his ankle bent awkwardly. He was taken off the field on a golf cart
for X-rays, which were negative.
"I was just playing it out as if there was no penalty or no one
trying to stop it or anything," said Collins, who came to the
interview room on crutches and with a protective boot on his foot.
"The first time I found out there was a penalty was when I came
into the training room."
Collins, who has started every game since late in the 1999
season, is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday. He hopes to play
again this season.
Coleman said he never heard back judge Greg Steed blow his
whistle until the play was over.
"None of us heard the whistle or anything, so we basically
worked the play," Coleman told a pool reporter.
The officiating crew was a mixed group thrown together because a
major snowstorm in the East caused disrupted travel plans.
Steed was working because Perry Paganelli could not make it to
New Jersey. Coleman refereed because Ron Winter also had travel
In all, four of the seven officials were not originally
scheduled to work this game.
Collins finished 5-of-14 for 62 yards and one interception.
Jesse Palmer was 7-of-11 for 83 in finishing up. He was also sacked
five times, including one by Bruce Smith that set an NFL mark for
career sacks (199).