The San Francisco 49ers know they will be down a top receiver after Michael Crabtree was injured in the offseason and after working out Austin Collie previously, the team is looking at him as a potential replacement for the star on offense.
According to NFL.com, the former Colts receiver worked out for the team last month and that he could be added to the team once training camp gets closer. Collie would join Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams as well as young stars A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton, Marlon Moore and Ricardo Lockette while Mario Manningham is coming back from a knee injury. The report says that Collie is coming back from knee and concussion injuries and that kept him out of all but one game last season with the Colts. Collie has had three concussions during that time and he said that he would sign a waiver to play for a team again. Collie was a solid option for the Colts until he was injured and now he is looking for a new roster to join.
Collie has dealt with injuries and concussions while missing 22 games over three seasons, but he is ready to return and if he signs he could be an interesting option for Colin Kaepernick in the slot. Collie has made over 170 catches during his career with 16 touchdowns and he has played in 42 regular season games with nearly 2,000 receiving yards. The 49ers need some help at the position after Crabtree's injury and the team also has Anquan Boldin, former first round pick AJ Jenkins as well as n Mario Manningham and rookie Quinton Patton. Collie had some good years with Peyton Manning with the Colts and he could be a huge addition for the 49ers.
ESPN compared the stats for Collie and Crabtree and amazingly enough they are not that far off from each other over 2009 to 2011 before Collie was hurt, as both played in over 40 games, with Crabtree in 42 and Collie in 41. Crabtree had three more receptions than Collie for about 300 more yards, but apart from that, the stats are fairly even, with Collie having four more touchdowns and a slightly less average per catch. The fact that the two are close bodes well for Collie, but only if he can prove to the team that he is healthy. The 49ers could use a player like him in their offense with Colin Kaepernick and while Boldin will be like a number one now, the team needs some depth.