New England Patriots rookie defensive end Derek Rivers may be out for the season after suffering a torn ACL, according to media reports.

Rivers was injured during a kickoff coverage drill Wednesday in a joint practice with the Houston Texans in West Virginia. The Patriots play a preseason game in Houston on Saturday night.

The injury is the latest blow to the Patriots’ depth at defensive end. Rivers was expected to compete for playing time since Rob Ninkovich retired at the start of preseason training camp.

Rivers, who played at Youngstown State, was the Patriots’ top selection in the 2017 NFL draft. He was taken in the third round at No. 83 overall. Rivers, 23, was born in Augusta, though his family moved to North Carolina when he was 2 years old.

With Trey Flowers, the Patriots have a more than capable edge rusher, but beyond that, there are plenty of questions.

Fourth-round pick Deatrich Wise looked like he was pushing for a starting spot opposite Flowers, but his momentum was halted last week by a concussion. If he can get healthy, he’ll still be in line for a lot of playing time.

Kony Ealy is another option. The veteran has had an up-and-down summer and saw little time with the starters in the first two weeks of training camp. Geneo Grissom started camp with the first-team defense, but has been seen playing with the second and third stringers.

The Patriots also have undrafted free agents Keionta Davis and Caleb Kidder on their 90-man roster.

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