According to ESPN Boston, linebacker Mike Rivera was spotted in the New England Patriots locker room and it is a sign that he could be on his way on to the team. That would mean that the foot injury to LB Tracy White is serious and will cost him even more time out.
Rivera is a slow linebacker, but he can help out on special teams and fill that void for the Pats if White does go down. He has solid technique when tackling and had a better-than-expected preseason and had a big game in Week 4 of the preseason. In fact, Rivera was able to sneak onto the 53-man roster before being cut after two games. He was then picked up by the Miami Dolphins before being placed on the injured reserve after just one game with the team. The Dolphins later released Rivera on an injury settlement, thus putting him back on the market.
But the thing is, the Pats signed Jeff Tarpinian off of the practice squad on Saturday, and he is a better player than Rivera when filling in the same roles. Tarpinian is also a solid special teams player and a better down linebacker than Rivera overall, despite the fact that Rivera surprisingly made the 53-man roster over him.
If the Patriots have indeed signed Rivera, then this is an extremely interesting move to say the least. It seems as if the Pats are trying too hard to shore up depth at the linebacker position.
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