The New England Patriots are already shorted-handed on the defensive edge, but they’ve taken another apparent hit to their ranks. Third round pick Derek Rives apparently suffered a left leg or knee injury while working on kickoff coverage, per multiple reports.
Derek Rivers went down on kickoff coverage. Left leg. Lots of pain.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 16, 2017
Rookie Derek Rivers injured on live kick-off. Appears to be left knee. Did leave field under own power after lengthy stay on ground— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 16, 2017
Rivers is limping off the field and into the facility. Nature of injury unclear.— Kevin Duffy (@KevinRDuffy) August 16, 2017
Rivers was expected to play a lot of snaps as a rookie after the retirement of veteran Rob Ninkovich, so this could be a big loss for the team if the injury is serious. Rivers joins fellow rookie EDGE Deatrich Wise on the sideline as Wise suffered a head injury in the first preseason game.
Rivers had a solid debut where he generated a solid amount of pressure against the Jaguars first unit offense and was improving every week.
The Patriots current healthy pass rusher depth chart consists of Trey Flowers, Kony Ealy, Geneo Grissom, Caleb Kidder, and recent signing Keionta Davis. The team cannot afford any more injuries at the position.
We’ll provide more updates on Rivers when they become available.
EDIT: Update from BSJ’s Greg Bedard. Apparently Ealy just suffered a shoulder injury, but remains on the sideline.
Kony Ealy now down with a right shoulder injury.— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) August 16, 2017
EDIT2: Ealy has returned to practice.
Ealy has returned after being helped off the field a couple of periods earlier— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 16, 2017