Josh Boyce injury: Patriots sign Austin Collie to replace rookie WR

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Collie returns to the Patriots for the third time this season to shore up an ailing receiving corps that will be without Josh Boyce for the playoffs.

Austin Collie has yo-yoed on and off the New England Patriots' roster over the last three months. It appears he will remain on the roster for as long as the Pats' playoff run lasts, with the team announcing Thursday that rookie wide receiver Josh Boyce has been placed on injured reserve.

Collie was initially signed to add depth in the receiving corps on Oct. 3, and remained on the roster for one month before being released on Nov. 5 after sustaining a knee injury. He was then re-signed on Dec. 5 with rookies Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson dealing with ailments. Collie was released again last Friday, but then the Patriots determined that Boyce would not be able to play again on an injured ankle this season.

Collie has a chance to be a significant contributor in place of Boyce. Collie has appeared in seven games this season, notching six receptions for 63 yards. Boyce's finished his rookie year with nine receptions for 121 yards and nine kickoff returns for 214 yards in eight games.

Collie was once a promising receiving prospect with the Indianapolis Colts before injuries -- namely concussions -- derailed his development. After starting his career with three straight seasons with at least 54 receptions, he has a total of seven receptions over the last two years.

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