FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots fear they have lost rookie defensive end Derek Rivers for the entire season due to a knee injury, league sources told ESPN on Friday. Rivers, who was New England’s top pick in the 2017 NFL draft as a third-round choice out of Youngstown State, went down on a kickoff coverage drill Wednesday in a joint practice with the Houston Texans. Head athletic trainer Jim Whalen examined Rivers’ left knee on the field. 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. Those tests reinforced the team’s initial fear of a season-ending knee injury. Rivers, who was selected 83rd overall, was projected to be part of a rotation at defensive end, which was arguably the Patriots’ thinnest position entering training camp. Trey Flowers, who led…

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