Patriots DE Derek Rivers suffers torn ACL

It is feared that former Penguin Derek Rivers will miss his entire rookie season with a major knee injury.

The Patriots selected Rivers with the 83rd overall pick (their first in the 2017 draft), and he was expected to be part of their rotation at defensive end this season.

The initial MRI results revealed a torn ACL and sprained LCL, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

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With that practice taking place at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, before the Patriots traveled to Houston for a preseason game Saturday, the club had Rivers fly back to Boston for more tests. Now, the Patriots will have to cultivate depth at defensive end from within the roster or look to free agency for additional help.

The Patriots typically refrain from bringing in big names due to injury, but two names immediately popped up as possibilities as a Rivers replacement: Dwight Freeney and Mario Williams.

Rivers is coming off a highly successful collegiate career that saw him rack up 37.5 sacks and 173 total tackles in his four years at Youngstown St. However, Ealy has yet to prove consistency on the defensive line which will need to change following Rivers' injury.

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