With the retirement of Rob Ninkovich, the Patriots were in need of another player to step into the former defensive end’s role heading into the future.
For 2017, it sounds like rookie Derek Rivers might not be part of an immediate solution.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates and Mike Reiss, the Patriots sent Rivers back to New England for a MRI following an apparent knee injury suffered by the rookie on Wednesday and the outlook appears to be grim.
The two report that the team fears that Rivers’ status for this season appears to be in jeopardy, which could end the former standout from Youngstown State’s season before it even got started.
Rivers reportedly suffered the injury on special teams during a kickoff drill where he went to change direction and his knee buckled.
If he’s lost for the year, the team is already thin at the position, with Trey Flowers as the sole player who has played well enough to be at the top of the depth chart. From there the team has just Kony Ealy, Geneo Grissom, Deatrich Wise Jr. (who suffered a concussion last week vs Jacksonville) as possible candidates, as well as long-shots Caleb Kidder and Keionta Davis.
It’s a tough early blow to a team that for the most part had avoided any serious injuries thus far during camp. Now they’ll have to switch gears and it should make the next couple of weeks interesting to watch as they begin figuring out how to move on should Rivers’ season come to an end.
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Tags: 2017 Patriots Preseason 2017 Patriots Training Camp Derek Rivers