- Mike Reiss, ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was asked Monday about the team's plans to fill it, and his answer provided insight as to how the coaching staff currently views the receiver depth chart.
First, McDaniels said that the idea of settling on a top three (Aaron Dobson, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola) has been part of the mindset, with the idea of "being able to try to have some consistency in terms of the things we are doing with those guys."
So that puts rookies Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce as the top candidates to vie for Collie's playing time in the No. 4 spot, which averaged 22 snaps per game over the past three weeks. Both were healthy scratches last week against the Steelers.
"KT and Josh Boyce will also factor into the competition in terms of who is active and how we go about forming the game plan," McDaniels said. "You never like to have a player get hurt, and certainly Austin was helping us and doing what we asked of him, but any time you have a situation like this that comes up during the course of the season, it provides a little spark of competition, and [I] think that is healthy for any group on the team. We will look forward to the receivers going out there and having a good week of practice and then trying to let it unfold from there."
Thompkins has 23 receptions for 334 yards and four touchdowns in eight games played. Boyce has been inactive for each of the past four games, and has one catch for 24 yards this season.
When the New England Patriots released veteran Austin Collie last Tuesday after he injured his knee, it created a void at the No. 4 receiver spot.Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was asked Monday about the team's plans to fill it, and his answer provided insight as to how the coaching staff currently views the receiver depth chart.