The New England Patriots new on-and-off-again veteran wide receiver is Austin Collie, as he was released yesterday for the second time this season. Collie was signed after injuries to Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins that tested the Patriots depth at the position, but both players are back on the mend. Dobson returned to action in last week’s win over the Baltimore Ravens, and Thompkins looks ready to return this week to face off against the Buffalo Bills.
With both Dobson and Thompkins healthy, the Patriots didn’t have a need to keep Collie on the 53-man roster. When he has been on the Patriots roster, Collie hasn’t done much, as he has caught just six passes for 63 yards in seven games this year. He’s a dependable veteran who can move the chains and effectively start in a pinch, but he’s one of the most injury-prone players in the game; sheer determination is the only thing keeping Collie going, as he’s suffered major concussion and knee injuries in his career.
Collie could re-join the Patriots at a moment’s notice, because he’s one Patriots WR-injury away from getting called back to the Pats active roster. It might take two injuries at the wide receiver position to cause the Patriots to bring him back, though, since I think they liked what they saw from TCU rookie Josh Boyce, who started two games at the “X” when both Dobson and KT were injured. Boyce is currently out with an ankle injury, but he should be healthy for the Patriots first playoff game, especially since they will likely have a bye.