The New England Patriots didn't make a draft selection until the third round this spring when they snagged defensive end Derek Rivers. The Super Bowl champs will likely be without their top pick for the season.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported an initial MRI revealed Rivers tore his ACL and sprained his LCL, per a source informed of the situation. The rookie will get a second opinion to confirm surgery is needed, per Rapoport.
ESPN first reported the news.
Rivers was sent back to Boston on Wednesday for tests after injuring himself during a joint practice with the Houston Texans.
The Patriots selected Rivers with the No. 83 overall pick. The 6-foot-4, 248-pound Youngstown St. product compiled 173 total tackles and 37.5 sacks in four seasons. Rivers displayed good burst at the college level and the ability to disrupt the passer. His versatility to play defensive end or stand up as an outside linebacker meshed perfectly with the Patriots' defensive preferences.
The Pats were already thin at pass rusher before Rivers' injury. The blow to their top draft choice, coupled with Rob Ninkovich's retirement, makes the group even shallower heading into the 2017 season.
Here are other injury notes we're tracking on Friday:
2. Seattle Seahawks starting left tackle George Fant suffered a right knee injury during the second quarter against the Vikings and was carted off the field. Medical personnel fitted Fant with an air cast on his leg before he was transported to the locker room. Coach Pete Carroll said after the game that Fant will need surgery and that his season is in jeopardy. Rapoport reported early Saturday that Fant suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
Seattle rookie wide receiver Amara Darboh left in the first half to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return.
3. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Cam Newton will not play in the Carolina Panthers' preseason game against the Titans on Saturday as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. The quarterback, though, is throwing more and feels fine, a source told Pelissero.
4. Chicago Bears starting running back Jordan Howard suffered a corneal abrasion (eye) during Friday's walkthrough, the team announced. Howard did not travel with the team to Arizona for Chicago's game Saturday against the Cardinals. However, the Bears consider the injury to be minor, a source informed of the situation told Pelissero.