Patriots, Dwight Freeney, Mario Williams
Tom Brady embraces Dwight Freeney after Super Bowl LI. Getty Images

The Patriots don't have many weaknesses heading into the 2017 NFL season but one area of concern is at defensive end. The Pats suffered a big blow at that position this week, as it was learned top rookie Derek Rivers will be done for the season. Rivers suffered a torn ACL in a joint practice with the Houston Texans on Wednesday.

 

Rivers was expected to see significant playing time in the regular season. Currently, the Patriots depth chart at defensive end consists of Trey Flowers, Kony Ealy, Deatrich Wise, Geneo Grissom, Caleb Kidder and Keionta Davis.

 

The Patriots typically refrain from bringing in big names due to injury, but two names immediately popped up as possibilities as a Rivers replacement: Dwight Freeney and Mario Williams.

 

The 37-year-old Freeney recorded 10 tackles and three sacks last season with the Falcons. The 32-year-old Williams registered 13 combined tackles with 1.5 sacks last season with the Dolphins.