By: Kenny Doyle
Patriots rookie defensive end Derek Rivers tore his ACL at practice Wednesday reported by the team today. Rivers got injured in a kickoff coverage drill and returned to Boston for test and it was confirmed today by doctors he had torn his ACL. Rivers will seek a second opinion in the hopes that he won’t need surgery, but it is more than likely that he will.
Rivers was the Patriots 1st pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and they had hopes that he could be a big contributor in year one. Rivers recorded 58 tackles and 14 sacks in his last season in college, splitting time at LB and DE.
With Rob Ninkovich retiring the Patriots needed someone to step up and fill the void, but it won’t be Rivers this year. Rivers was reportedly already being outplayed at camp by fellow rookie Deatrich Wise, according to Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal. The Patriots are now even more thin at DE with Trey Flowers as the only DE on the depth chart remaining from last year’s team. The Patriots may look to play LBs Shea McClellin and Dont’a Hightower more at DE at times to help fill the void left by Rivers and Ninkovich.