Originally posted on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 8/10/12
Keith Rivers (Photo by Bobak Ha'Eri, used under Creative Commons License)
Jim Mancari BGB Assistant Editor
The Giants open their preseason schedule tonight in Jacksonville taking on the Jaguars.
Many players on the bubble will be looking to make an immediate impact tonight, but still it’s just the first preseason game.
However, for linebacker Keith Rivers, tonight’s game will have significant meaning.
Big Blue traded with the Cincinnati Bengals for the former ninth overall pick this offseason, even though he missed all of 2011 with a wrist injury.
Whenever a player misses lengthy time due to injury, he really can’t wait to get back on the field. So even though it’s just a preseason game tonight, Rivers will be amped up and ready to go.
Before his injury, Rivers showed flashes of being an impact linebacker for the Bengals. He’s said to have good closing speed on the outside.
Looking at the Giants linebacker corps, Rivers will need to show this preseason that he belongs. As of now, Mathias Kiwanuka and Michael Boley will start on the outside with either Chase Blackburn or Mark Herzlich playing in the middle.
Rivers is certainly in competition for a starting role and may even see some reps as a middle linebacker. Blackburn and Herzlich have experience on special teams, so either way, all three should see the field.
But the goal is to have the best team on the field when the Giants host the Dallas Cowboys in a little less than a month. Rivers, if he plays well, can show he belongs.
So keep your eyes on No. 55. The journey back to NFL football begins tonight for Rivers.
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