The New England Patriots like to play the roster game with veteran wide receivers, and their latest on-and-off again WR is Austin Collie, who is always on the Patriots speed dial whenever they feel like they need to bring a steady veteran to the 53-man roster (it’s usually because of injuries). The Patriots cut Collie last week when both Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins return to health, but Collie is back with the Patriots following Dobson’s aggravated foot injury in the team’s Week 17 win over the Buffalo Bills. Neither Dobson nor fellow rookie wideout Josh Boyce, who has been out for two weeks with an ankle injury, practiced today, so it was time to bring Collie back to shore up depth at the position.
Patriots beat writers spotted Collie at practice today, which signified that he had been signed by the Patriots, but we didn’t receive a scoop until later. Then, ESPN Boston’s Field Yates reported, citing a league source, that the Patriots have indeed signed Collie, who is donning the No. 10 in his latest stint with the franchise.
Collie figures to be the Patriots fifth option in the passing attack, but we won’t know how much he’ll be used until at least a week from now. The Patriots have a bye week which is crucial in getting both Dobson and Boyce rested, but there’s a worry that both could miss the divisional round game. That remains to be seen, but it’s good to have depth at the position, and it’s clear that Collie is someone that Tom Brady knows he can rely upon. Even at this stage, Collie does an excellent job of getting open and moving the chains.