FOXBOROUGH -- Now with three practices under his belt after re-signing with the Patriots Wednesday, receiver Austin Collie said he's healthy and thrilled to be back with the team.
"I was crossing my fingers, because I love it here. It’s a great team, great organization, great coaching staff," Collie said Friday, after the team's final practice of the week before facing Cleveland Sunday at Gillette Stadium. "It's awesome."
Collie was released Nov. 5 after playing in four games with the Patriots and catching three passes for 34 yards. But he injured his knee in the Nov. 3 win over the Steelers, a development that led to his release.
The time away gave Collie an opportunity to heal.
"It was difficult, but it was time that I needed to get healthy, get my knee back, and thankfully I got signed back on when I was healthy," Collie said. "There’s always that possibility [of being re-signed], but nothing was certain."
Collie might be able to provide depth at a position that has been thinned recently by injury. Aaron Dobson isn't expected to play Sunday because of a foot injury, and fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins has been limited this week in practice with a hip injury. Collie is healthy and knows the offense.
"Any time you’re coming off an injury, it takes a little bit of time to get back rolling," Collie said. "At the same time, four weeks isn’t that long of a time, so I think I’m making good progress."