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SEATTLE, WA – Alex Collins does not fear adversity. Born and raised in Plantation, Fla., he never met a challenge he wasn’t built to handle. That includes obstacles on the football field, where he rebounded magnificently from Wholesale Jerseys Cheap being cut by the Seahawks to re-emerge as a starting running back for the Ravens during the 2017 season.

Conquering adversity has been such a vital part of Collins’s mindset that he created an “Adversity Killer” logo several years ago and aims to launch an apparel line built around the branding in the Cheap Carlos Hyde Jersey near future. Overcoming hardship was seemingly wired in his DNA.

But starting in December 2018, a vicious cycle of events—some self-inflicted, others completely out of his control—unfolded in Cheap Jerseys rapid Cheap Jason Verrett Jersey succession, creating the perfect storm that caused Collins to miss the entire 2019 season and put his resiliency and resolve to the ultimate test.

“It was definitely one thing after another,” Collins said in an interview with Seahawk Maven. “There were times were it was Cheap Alex Collins Jersey hard because my entire life—I’m talking throughout high school and college—never missed a game and even if it was for injury, I’m playing through injury. Never make excuses, never miss practices.”

Seattle Seahawks running back Alex Collins (36) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-10.
Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a season in which he nearly hit 1,000 yards for the first time, a foot injury prematurely ended Collins’s 2018 season after starting 10 games and rushing for 411 yards and seven touchdowns for Baltimore. Landing on injured reserve, he missed the final five regular season games as well as a wild Cheap Marshawn Lynch Jersey card round defeat to the Chargers, casting some doubt about his future with the franchise.

Then, three months later on the morning of March 1, Collins crashed his Chevrolet Corvette into a tree only a mile away from the Ravens team facility in Owings Mills, Md. Once authorities arrived, an odor of marijuana at the scene led to a search of the vehicle and he was arrested for possession of marijuana as well as a firearm, which he Cheap Bobby Wagner Jersey did not have proper paperwork to carry in the state.

Within hours, with Collins remaining in police custody and details about his arrest continuing to emerge, Baltimore promptly released him, instantly making him an unrestricted free agent. Four months later, while tirelessly in pursuit of a new landing spot, he was dealt another devastating blow as he suffered a broken leg during an offseason workout and underwent surgery.

For Collins, it was a tough pill to swallow. In high school and college, even if he was dealing with a significant injury, he played through Cheap Chris Carson Jersey the pain. He wasn’t one to make excuses or miss practice time, let alone sitting out game action. This was beyond foreign territory for him.

“It was definitely detrimental at that time because I was about to sign with another team,” Collins reflected. “And then after [the injury], everything just kind of fell through.”

Even after returning to full health, fortunes didn’t improve much in coming months for Collins, as he couldn’t catch a break in Cheap Russell Wilson Jersey his mission to latch on with another team.

The Seahawks, who had unceremoniously released Collins out of training camp two years earlier, brought him in for a workout after Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise suffered season-ending injuries in December 2019. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as legendary runner Marshawn Lynch unexpectedly volunteered to Cheap Tyler Lockett Jersey climb off his couch and come out of retirement for the second time to fill the void instead.

After Seattle was knocked out of the playoffs in Green Bay in the divisional round, Collins remained on the organization’s radar heading toward free agency. The Seahawks again expressed interest in bringing him back, offering to Cheap DeeJay Dallas Jersey fly him in for a workout with a futures deal hanging in the balance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to his flight being canceled.

For Collins, the process was gut-wrenching and demoralizing. After serving a suspension and not playing a single down in 2019, all he wanted was the chance to prove what he could do between the lines. With his legal issues in the rear view mirror, all he wanted was to “change the narrative” surrounding him.

But despite everything that he had gone through and all the opportunities slipping through his grasp, Collins didn’t let the circumstances keep him down. To achieve his goal of reviving his career, he knew he needed to grow from his past mistakes and get back to the basics.

“I just accepted my situation every time, understanding where I was at and what needed to be done to ultimately get to where I am today,” Collins remarked. “That’s pretty much what it was. Dedication to the cause and Cheap Travis Homer Jersey staying passionate even through the hard times and just grinding it out. Even on the days that I wanted to throw in the towel, it made the flame grow even more.”

Looking back, Collins admitted he arrived to his first training camp with the Seahawks overweight and unprepared. While he made the roster out of camp and occasionally flashed as a rookie, he only rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown while dressing for 11 games.

Being released the following September served as a wake-up call of sorts for Collins, who initially signed with the Ravens practice squad before being elevated to the 53-man roster early in the season. This experience Cheap Rashaad Penny Jersey proved to be invaluable for him as he continued to scratch and claw to find his way back to the league three years later.

For Collins, the biggest key to improving his consistency and enhancing his performance revolved around establishing a routine. He changed up his diet, began to focus more heavily on film study and reading defenses, and found creative ways to conduct his offseason workouts and stay in top shape, including Irish dancing and bike riding.

Finally, after training camp wrapped up and the regular season got underway, Collins started fielding calls from teams for free agent workouts. Among those teams, in what wasn’t a surprise at all to the veteran runner, the Seahawks inquired while Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde and Rashaad Penny all dealt with injuries.

Collins flew out to Seattle for yet another workout, though the process amid a pandemic proved to be dramatically different than the previous December. Per league protocols, he was required to pass six COVID-19 tests in six days Cheap Duane Brown Jersey before being allowed to enter the team facility. He spent those days in a hotel without a playbook, unable to interact in person with coaches, teammates, trainers, or anyone else associated with the team.

“You don’t just jump right in,” Collins explained. “You’ve gotta come to whichever city, you’ve gotta sit out a week, you gotta come COVID test every day. You’re not used to it and it’s very uncomfortable.”

Luckily for Collins, the third time proved to be the charm. With Carson and Hyde both sidelined, he signed with Seattle’s practice squad after wrapping up his testing protocols and was able to return to the facility after the team’s Week 8 win over San Francisco.

Rejoining the team that originally drafted him after his long road back to being on an NFL roster, Collins’s mind was put at ease once he arrived and reunited with several of his friends and teammates.

“It meant everything and it was definitely like a homecoming type of feeling coming into the locker room and seeing those Cheap Jordan Simmons Jersey same guys—Tyler Lockett, Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson—the guys I played with before I left, the coaching staff, and being in the city,” Collins said. “To get picked back up by Seattle with the mindset and mentality I grew and picked up, it was definitely an excitement. I’m locked in and know I’m more than capable and now I can show you guys my true colors.”

Collins didn’t have to wait long for his first opportunity to cash in on his second chance with the Seahawks. As Carson continued to battle a foot injury and Hyde nursed a hamstring injury, the team had limited depth at running back with rookie DeeJay Dallas slated to make his second consecutive start against the Bills in Week 9.

Taking advantage of revised rules for a 2020 season unlike any other, Seattle elevated Collins prior to traveling to Orchard Park. The ex-Arkansas star suited up for his first NFL game in two years, playing 13 snaps and carrying the football twice for five yards.

One week later, with Carson and Hyde still out, Collins was again a game day elevation from the practice squad and earned his first start since November 2018 against the Rams. On Seattle’s opening possession, he scored his first Cheap Rasheem Green Jersey touchdown in over two years, exploding through a crease created by blocks from Duane Brown and Jordan Simmons to score from 13 yards out.

Though the Seahawks wound up losing the game 23-16, Collins finished with 43 yards on 11 carries and caught a pass for four yards while scoring the team’s only offensive touchdown on the afternoon.

With both of his practice squad game day promotions used up, Collins didn’t dress again for Seattle until January, when the NFL adjusted rules to allow players who had already been elevated twice to be promoted for Week 17 and playoff games. Needing a replacement for Hyde, who was ruled out for the season finale in Arizona, he joined the team for a road trip to face the 49ers.

During the first half of the game, Collins didn’t see a single snap with Carson and Penny both active. But in the fourth Cheap Benson Mayowa Jersey quarter, Carson suffered a cut on his ear and Penny exited the game with cramps, forcing him into action with the Seahawks trailing on the scoreboard and trying to make a torrid comeback.

Down 16-12 with four minutes to play, Collins provided an immediate spark, picking up a hard-earned yard on his first carry to move the chains. He followed up on the next play by carrying multiple 49ers six yards, running with far more power and authority than he did in his first stint with the team. Three plays later, Wilson found Lockett in the end zone to help the Seahawks regain the advantage.

After defensive end Benson Mayowa forced a strip sack on San Francisco’s next possession and Rasheem Green recovered, Collins went back to work and dealt a knockout blow to Seattle’s bitter rival. Following a six-yard carry on first down, he powered forward for an eight-yard run to move the team down to the Cheap C.J. Prosise Jersey opposing three-yard line.

Though a false start penalty temporarily moved the Seahawks back five yards, Collins bounced an outside zone to the left on the ensuing play, sidestepped a tackle attempt by cornerback Jason Verrett, and then lowered his pads to power through safety Tarvarious Moore before extending the ball past the goal line for a touchdown. Game, set, match.

From Collins’s perspective, in a roundabout way, all of the trials and tribulations he encountered over the past few years helped bring out the best in him as a football player. He’s far more focused on ball security, understands what defenses are doing in regard to safety rotations and blitz schemes, and has raised his effort on finishing runs with authority to another level.

“It’s definitely a different mindset when I’m out there,” Collins smiled. “It really amplified my game going through everything—those adversities—and getting those opportunities. It really taught me to cherish them more Cheap Green Bay Packers Jerseys and really take advantage because as I saw before, it can be taken away or I’ll never know when I’ll get that opportunity again… You guys are going to have to really bring some efforts when it comes to tackling me.”

While Collins didn’t get to play in Seattle’s wild card loss the following week to Los Angeles, his performance drew consistent praise from coach Pete Carroll and the team rewarded him by re-signing the veteran ball carrier to a new one-year contract last month.

With Carson and Hyde set to become free agents and potentially bolting for greener pastures, Collins isn’t going to be content with simply being on the roster this time around. As the most experienced back currently under contract alongside Penny, Dallas, and Travis Homer, after climbing all the way back from rock bottom, the 26-year-old runner has his sights set on competing for a starting role next summer and showing his triumphant return wasn’t a fluke.

“I’ll definitely look forward to competing with these guys and coming in and just showing my value and my work and that I’m ready and still can do the same things I did last year,” Collins said.

To achieve that goal, Collins doesn’t plan on reinventing the wheel. He believes sticking to the basics and the routine he developed during his long, winding road back to the NFL will serve him well moving forward, ensuring he’s 100 percent ready to go when the team reports for camp in July or August.

Collins will have to learn a new playbook, though he admitted he hasn’t had a chance yet to learn much about how Seattle’s scheme will change under new coordinator Shane Waldron. With speculation about Wilson’s Cheap Seattle Seahawks Jerseys future running rampant, such details have yet to be provided, but he will be ready to dive in once the specifics are revealed down the road.

“No matter what it is, I’m ready to learn the scheme, the identity, what we will potentially be in the future,” Collins commented. “I feel like once the decision is decided with Russ, we’ll be able to really focus on that aspect and what they want to be able to do and let us know. Ultimately, I’ve been in so many different schemes, I’ve had to learn so many different playbooks, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem at all.”

Through it all, after having the game taken away from him and nearly seeing his career fall off the rails, Collins refuses to take anything for granted. He’s thankful for the Seahawks organization maintaining faith and showing their confidence in him by signing him to a new contract, and feels blessed to have a strong support system.

As he learned the hard way through his experiences over the past several years, however, now isn’t the time to get comfortable or complacent. Instead, it’s time to get to work and lead by example the way only an adversity killer can.