Patriots Expect Derek Rivers To Miss Entire Season With Knee Injury

Patriots third-round DE Derek Rivers suffered a torn ACL and sprained LCL and will miss the season.

Trey Flowers leads the depth chart at defensive end.

The specific nature of Rivers' injury remains unknown. The team traded for Kony Ealy during the off-season, who has shown flashes of great potential during his tenure with the Carolina Panthers. In wake of the injury, Ealy will likely be placed along with Trey Flowers this season, which can prove to be a risky tandem if Ealy improves his consistency.

Losing the Youngstown State product would be another blow to a Patriots defensive end group that saw Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard leave in free agency this offseason and Rob Ninkovich announce his retirement. However, both Rivers and Wise Jr.

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 Patriots play the Texans in Houston on Saturday. Rivers displayed good burst at the college level and the ability to disrupt the passer. For the other, the Patriots' options are dwindling.

Unfortunately for New England, further testing didn't bear that out.

Vanessa Coleman