Seattle Seahawks defensive end L.J. Collier missed all of last season with an ankle injury that put him behind developmentally, as he often would get placed on the inactive list, despite a clean bill of health.
This season, Collier is looking to make an impact and make up for the time he missed.
With no fans in the stands, the Seahawks finished the game in nail-biting fashion with a 35-30 victory over the New England Patriots.
And Collier, with the help of Lano Hill, combined to stop a Cam Newton run from the 1-yard line that saved the win for the Seahawks.
After the game, Collier expressed how much that stop has boosted his confidence after missing all of last season with the injury bug.
“It helped my confidence a lot,” Collier said. “It boosts me forward, it gives me the jump I needed. I feel like it's only up from here, really."
Hill blew up a lead block that allowed for Collier to make the stop and prevent what would have been one of the most stunning defeats in recent Seattle history.
Collier later said middle linebacker Bobby Wagner called Newton’s run.
“Those are big time plays man just to finish it off,’’ Collier said. “It’s a hell of a play. imagine if we had fans man, Seattle would still be shaking.’’
After missing most of the season last year, Collier made it a point to make 2020 his year, and he knows nothing is going to be given to him.
He has to earn it.
“I was playing catch up all last year,” Collier said. “It was really a depressing year not doing what I am able to do, not being able to help my team and just sit and watch from the sideline and be inactive some days… I used that to drive me in the offseason, to push myself every day to know that I am not going to sit on the sideline this year. Nothing will be given to me and I am going to earn everything that I get.”
With the Seahawks now up 2-0 for the season, it's safe to say all the offseason grind is really paying off for Collier.
Its a new year and a new season, and he isn’t letting the injuries of his rookie season weigh him down.
[Listen to the latest Talkin' Seahawks podcast with NBC Sports Boston's Patriot Reporter Phil Perry]