Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/5/13
Austin Collie's arrival in New England wasn't exactly heralded by a trumpet fanfare. The Patriots with its crop of rookie receivers with Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola still on the mend could undeniably be helped by a veteran. But Collie largely inspired eye rolls from the fan base. Those first two seasons with the Colts when he caught seven and eight touchdowns respectively might as well have happened a decade ago. Why? Concussions and a ruptured patellar tendon kept Collie sidelined for 22 games over the last three years. He was branded by one of the most unforgiving NFL irons: Damaged Goods. "I'd rather not talk about the concussions or the past injuries" Collie told reporters at Gillette Friday. "All that stuff's behind me. I think I've been asked those questions a lot the past couple years and I'm ready to out all that stuff behind me and move on. I'm just ready to be here be a part of this team and help anyway I can." Really the only definitive way Collie can answer questions about his health is by producing on the field. Will the work begin this Sunday in Cincinnati? "That's not up to me. [It's the] coach's call" he shrugged. "But my mindset is there could be an opportunity. You never know. Always prepare like you're going to play." The game would be his first since September 23 2012. San Francisco brought Collie in for training camp this summer but cut him at the end of August. He's been out of football ever since. Collie knows he's behind the eight ball now. He didn't deny the challenge of entering a new system in-season. He said he's pouring himself into the Patriots offense and believes extra study and extra time with Patriots coaches and quarterback Tom Brady can get him caught up. He's never lost faith in his talent. "It's something I feel like I'm good at. It's a gift I've been given and I want to maximize that gift. I feel like I have a lot more left to give" Collie insisted.
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