The Carolina Panthers seem to be the most forgiving and understanding team in the league in regards to their oft-injured defensive tackle Colin Cole. Keeping their defensive front seven, which led them to a 12-4 record this past season, the Panthers have announced they have re-signed Cole to a one-year deal, according to the Charlotte Observer. Cole has had a career marred with injuries and was even sidelined for two full seasons.
Entering the NFL in 2004 with the Green Bay Packers, Cole played in 57 total games in five seasons. In 2007 he was placed on the injured reserve list after suffering an injury to his arm, missing nine games. Moving on to the Seattle Seahawks in 2009, Cole remained healthy in his first year. In the 2010 NFL season, he suffered a severe left ankle injury, missing five games late in the season.
Cole's ankle injury was worse than originally thought. Undergoing surgery in July of 2011, the Seahawks placed him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list for the upcoming season. Cole did not see the field that year and was eventually cut from Seattle's roster. He spent the entire 2012 year away from football, healing and rehabbing his ankle.
In March of 2013, the Carolina Panthers took a chance and signed Cole to a one-year contract. The Panthers' 2013 season was a tremendous comeback for Cole, as many say he should have received consideration for Comeback Player of the Year. He stepped into the starting nose tackle position, and the 6'2", 335-pound Cole was an intricate piece of the league's second-ranked defense last season.
The only hiccups Cole faced last year were missing one game with a sore shoulder in Week 6, and a slight calf injury during the Panthers regular season finale in Week 16. After limping off the field, Cole remained on the sidelines for the rest of the game. As the Panthers eventually won the NFC South division and made the playoffs, Cole returned to the field for the postseason.
With a career 233 combined tackles, one forced fumble and 5.5 sacks, the 33 year-old Cole will get another year as a Carolina Panther. He is poised to be a big part of the Panthers’ defense for the second year in a row.
On Twitter: @alewnes7