Patriots release Austin Collie

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran wide receiver Austin Collie, who re-signed with the New England Patriots in early December and had been fourth on the depth chart in recent weeks, was released by the team Friday.

This marks the end of Collie's second stint with the team. He was originally signed Oct. 3 before being released Nov. 5 after sustaining a knee injury. During that time, he played in four games and totaled three catches for 34 yards and was a key part of a dramatic late comeback win over the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 13.

Collie was re-signed Dec. 5 and provided depth as rookie receivers Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) missed multiple weeks with injuries. He had three catches for 29 yards in three games over that stretch.

But with Dobson returning last week, and Thompkins close to a return, Collie's release appears to be a case of the Patriots redistributing depth to account for injuries at other positions.

The Patriots now have two open spots on their 53-man roster which are likely to be filled with promotions from the practice squad.