Pats place DT Wilfork on IR, sign WR Collie

The New England Patriots have signed four-year veteran Austin

Collie to add experience to their young wide receiver corps.

They also placed defensive tackle Vince Wilfork on injured

reserve on Thursday and released tight end Zach Sudfeld, a rookie

free agent who struggled after an impressive preseason.

Collie spent his first four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts

before signing as a free agent with San Francisco last Aug. 2. He

had been a free agent since the 49ers released him Aug. 31.

He was a productive wide receiver out of the slot in his first

three seasons but had at least three concussions since November

2010 and left another game with concussion-like symptoms. He missed

three games early last season because of a concussion and played in

just one game before rupturing the patellar tendon in his right

knee.

Collie started 16 of his 42 games with the Colts, making 173

catches for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns. He had at least 54

receptions in each of his first three seasons but just one last

year.

The Patriots have played with three rookies among their four

wide receivers in the last three games after veteran Danny Amendola

aggravated a groin injury in the opener. He hasn’t played since and

participated on a limited basis in practice on Wednesday and

Thursday.

The rookies seemed to make progress in last Sunday night’s 30-23

win over the Atlanta Falcons in which rookie Kenbrell Thompkins

caught two touchdown passes from Tom Brady. But Julian Edelman,

tied for the NFL lead with 34 catches, is the Patriots’ only

healthy veteran wide receiver.

Wilfork, a five-time Pro Bowl player, tore his right Achilles

tendon in the first quarter against Atlanta. He’s missed just six

games in his 10-year career.

The release of Sudfeld might indicate that Rob Gronkowski will

play for the first time this season on Sunday against the

Cincinnati Bengals. He’s been recovering from forearm and back

surgeries. Patriots tight ends have just four catches this season:

three by Michael Hoomanawanui, one by Matthew Mulligan and none by

Sudfeld.

Gronkowski was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday but

has said his condition has been improving.

AP NFL website: -www.pro32.ap.org