In the wake of news that the Cincinnati Bengals have reached a deal with Oakland Raiders linebacker Thomas Howard, Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson passes along word that starting weakside LB Keith Rivers is coming off surgery and may miss time this fall.
There are indications that Rivers underwent wrist surgery and may not be available for what could be the first several weeks of the season.
This won't be Rivers' first bout with the injury list. The Bengals' first-round pick in 2008, he missed more than half his rookie season after taking a jaw-breaking cheap shot from Pittsburgh Steeler WR Hines Ward. He missed three games in 2009 with various dings and fought plantar fasciitis all last year.
If Rivers is out, Howard should slide easily into his spot. Coming into free agency this year, Walter listed him as a potential starting weakside 'backer for a new team in 2011.
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