Yesterday it was reported that Derek Rivers, the Patriots third round selection in this past draft, would be heading back to Boston to get tests done on his knee. Rivers injured himself on a kick return drill during Thursday’s practice. Today, their worst fear may have been realized.
From @MikeReiss & I: the Patriots fear their top draft pick DE Derek Rivers has suffered a season-ending knee injury, per league sources.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 18, 2017
Right now, it appears that the Patriots may have lost Rivers for the year to a season-ending knee surgery. This would be a massive blow to an already insanely thin group of defensive ends and pass rushers. With Rob Ninkovich retiring, Kony Ealy being incredibly disappointing, and now the injury to Rivers, the Pats have to make a move to either sign or trade for another DE. The depth chart is simply too thin at the position for them not to make a move.
I wrote about this a few weeks ago, but free agency definitely provides some solid names for the Pats to choose from. The two most realistic free agents they could potentially target include Dwight Freeney and Mario Williams. These are two players who the Patriots are very familiar with and have been rumored to acquire in years past, which is why I feel like one or maybe even both could end up signing before the season starts.
A trade also seems likely, but if they’re just looking for a quick fix without giving up assets, I don’t think they would take this route. I really don’t care how they do it, but the Patriots must bring somebody in to fill this hole. They are an extremely talented team, but the lack of depth at DE could come to bite them down the road.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)