The New York Giants have reportedly re-signed injury-prone, 26-year-old outside linebacker Keith Rivers, according to a tweet from Giants beat writer Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger. The former USC standout has an awfully hard time staying healthy, and that’s a shame since he was a solid player for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Although Rivers didn’t show it last year, he is usually sound when in coverage and can bring that to the table. Just don’t try to ask him to blitz too often from the 4-3 OLB slot, since that doesn’t work out to the best effect. Rivers finished with just three hurries on the quarterback last year per the Pro Football Focus.
Rivers’s best asset is his run defense, because he has good range out there and is a sure-handed tackler. He rarely misses tackles, except for the 2010 season in which the former first-round draft pick missed 14 of them. Last season, Rivers had 38 tackles in nine games (six starts), and he also made an impact on special teams with six tackles.
He likely received a one-year deal from the Giants due to his injury history, and he could be a quality starter again if he can get back on track health-wise. I like the fact that the Giants decided to bring him back, especially since they weren’t the ones who burned a top-ten pick on him back in 2008. Rivers might not make the Giants 53-man roster after training camp, but I think he should be able to make the cut and get some more decent playing time in 2013.
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