Lions Collins Football

Linebacker Jamie Collins was released by the Detroit Lions on Sept. 28 after acknowledging they were exploring options to trade him. He was picked up by New England this week. Lon Horwedel/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jamie Collins is ready for round three.

The linebacker’s agent, David Canter, announced that Collins has re-signed in New England for a third stint. There had been rumors of a reunion percolating all week, but Coach Bill Belichick had no update to offer in his Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Collins should add an infusion of speed to the Patriots linebacking corps, something it could certainly use in the middle of the defense. He will be reunited with former teammates and linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower. The trio combined for 19 sacks for the Patriots in 2019, but none of them played for New England in 2020. Hightower opted not to play because of coronavirus concerns, Collins signed with the Lions, and Van Noy signed with Miami.

Last month, Collins was released by the Lions just two games into the second season of a three-year, $30 million deal. Asked about Collins’ effort level in September, Detroit’s head coach, Dan Campbell, had an interesting response.

“I mean, look, Jamie is a big linebacker,” Cambell said. “He’s a very athletic linebacker. And… you know, the way he moves is a little different. Now, (do I think) he moves with the same effort as Alex (Anzalone)? No, I don’t. I think Alex just plays at a high level all the time – that’s him, that’s how he goes.”

This will be his third stint with New England. He was drafted by the Patriots in the second round in 2013 and spent the first three seasons with them before being dealt to Cleveland in 2016. He re-signed with the Browns in 2017 before being cut and re-signed by the Patriots in 2019.

Collins has 25 1/2 sacks in his career and is expected to provide some support at linebacker after Ja’Whaun Bentley suffered a shoulder injury that caused him to miss last week’s loss to Tampa Bay.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE issues could get even worse this weekend in Houston.

The Patriots were missing four of their five starters at Wednesday’s practice. With Isaiah Wynn, Michael Onwenu, Shaq Mason, and Trent Brown all sidelined, David Andrews was the only regular in uniform.

Wynn and Onwenu were both placed on the COVID-19 list on Tuesday afternoon, and it remains to be seen whether the other absences are related. Asked if the two that are already on the list could play against the Texans on Sunday, Bill Belichick was non-committal.

“We’ll follow the league protocols,” Belichick said. “If they clear, they clear. If they don’t, they don’t… We’ll see how it all works out. There’s obviously some questions there. I don’t even know the answer to them myself. I’m not trying to be evasive here. Not that you would ever think that I’m trying to be evasive. I’m not saying that. I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth there.”

Henry Anderson also was missing from practice. The defensive lineman is reportedly out for the season with a torn pectoral, but has yet to be placed on injured reserve.

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