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Injury update: Patriots reportedly “optimistic” rookie DE Derek Rivers avoided significant injury

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The third round pick left today's practice with an apparent knee injury.

The New England Patriots held their second of three joint practice sessions with the Houston Texans today. The intense session saw both squads make plays but also players exit with injuries; two of which along the Patriots' defensive line: Kony Ealy, who suffered a shoulder injury and later returned, and rookie Derek Rivers.

Rivers appeared to have injured his knee and stayed on the ground before slowly walking off under his own power. The extent of the injury is not yet known, but, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe, New England is “optimistic”:

The Patriots are optimistic that Derek Rivers avoided a significant injury, but tests aren't done yet. Still, the early word is positive.

Losing Rivers for an extended period of time would be a blow to the Patriots' defensive edge depth chart. After all, the unit had lost multiple of its 2016 members during the offseason and saw training camp standout Deatrich Wise Jr. go down with a concussion during last Thursday's preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In case the Patriots' early optimism ultimately proves to be correct and Rivers has indeed avoided any serious injury, New England would therefore have dodged a bullet.