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Rivers dealing with injuries, perceptions

Keith Rivers catches a pass during warmups before

Keith Rivers catches a pass during warmups before an NFL preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla. (Aug. 10, 2012) Credit: AP

When the Giants traded for Keith Rivers, it was probably with an eye towards games like this one against Michael Vick. The athletic linebacker would give the Giants more speed on the field and allow them to keep better tabs on Vick and RG3 and the other mobile passers they will face.

But it looks like Rivers won’t play on Sunday against the Eagles. He missed a second straight practice with a hamstring injury and has been bugged throughout the year with multiple hamstring issues in both of his legs. Which brings us to the other thing the Giants probably knew they were getting with Rivers: A player who, for whatever reason, has trouble staying on the field.

Rivers missed all of last season with a wrist surgery. In 2009 he missed three games with a calf injury. And as a rookie in 2008 he missed most of the season with a fractured jaw. This year he played against the Cowboys in the opener (started, even) but sat out most of the second half, missed the Week 2 game against the Bucs, and made it only two snaps into the Panthers game before he had to come out.

And now, it looks like he’ll miss the Eagles game. If that’s the case, through the first four weeks of his Giants career he’ll have played a total of 23 defensive snaps.

“It’s hard to miss any game, especially with my track record of missing a lot of games,” Rivers said. “You can’t be a liability. Obviously you want to get healthy so that you can be trusted to stay healthy, and once you’re healthy stay there and not go back and forth.”

Rivers said he’s not concerned with the perception of him as a player who cannot stay on the field, mostly because it’s been correct so far.

“I haven’t been able to (stay on the field),” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get back and be healthy for a while.”

When he has been on the field, he's looked very strong for the Giants. There just haven't been a lot of those times.

Injuries, he said, are when players “have to work on your mental toughness. You can’t let that thing deter you from your greater goal.”

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