Patriots Reportedly Fear Derek Rivers Has Season-Ending Knee Injury

Sources Patriots' Derek Rivers has torn ACL            Jeff Howe    

The New England Patriots in the 2017 NFL Draft didn't possess a selection in the first two rounds with their first choice coming in the third round with former Youngstown State defensive end Derek Rivers.

He was selected 83rd overall by New England in April's draft.

The specific nature of Rivers' injury remains unknown.

UPDATE (11:40 a.m. ET): Rivers' diagnosis was a torn ACL and sprained LCL, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.

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New England is set to kickoff the 2017 regular season on September 7 at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, as they enter the season as defending Super Bowl champions.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end was expected to make an immediate impact as a rookie, and was listed as Trey Flowers' backup on the team's unofficial depth chart.

The Patriots are expected to start Flowers and trade acquisition Kony Ealy at defensive end in 2017, as veteran pass rusher Rob Ninkovich announced his retirement from this National Football League last month.

ESPN had previously reported that the Patriots fear the rookie's injury may be season-ending. However, both Rivers and Wise Jr. The Patriots play a preseason game in Houston on Saturday night. Players like Dwight Freeney will likely be in the mix as like Rivers he has the ability to play as a pass rushing linebacker when needed. For the other, the Patriots' options are dwindling.

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