Rookie Derek Rivers is one of the players in the mix for work at defensive end for the Patriots this season, but his chances of gaining playing time could be impacted by an injury.
Rivers left Wednesday’s joint practice with the Texans after hurting his left leg/knee and Mike Giardi of CSN New England reports that he went back to New England for further evaluation while the rest of the team gets ready to play the Texans on Saturday.
Rivers was New England’s top pick in this year’s draft when they selected him in the third round after he set a Youngstown State record with 41 sacks during his college career. With Rob Ninkovich retiring, there’s an opening for immediate playing time if Rivers’ injury isn’t a serious one.
The Patriots will also be without fourth-round defensive end Deatrich Wise because of a concussion, leaving Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom, Kony Ealy and Caleb Kidder as the healthy options for this week’s game.