"It's exciting being with a team that is contending every year," the linebacker said Saturday at Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas' youth football camp in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. "It's been a great experience (and) they got some great guys in the locker room. It's been a great experience thus far."
|Giants LB Keith Rivers (above) works with kids at teammate Terrell Thomas' football camp Saturday in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Kevin Patra/NFL Network)|
After being drafted ninth overall by the Bengals in 2008, Rivers saw his rookie season abruptly end when he suffered a shattered jaw on a blind-side block by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward in Week 7. The hit was the catalyst for the NFL's so-called Hines Ward Rule, which bans blind-side blocks to the head or neck with the helmet, forearm or shoulder.
Rivers missed the entire 2011 season with a wrist injury, then was traded to the Giants in April for a fifth-round pick.
The trade of a young former first-round pick for so little led some to label Rivers a bust, but he sees it as just bad luck.
"I don't think it was a situation of being a 'bust.' It was a situation where I was injured a lot, and it was unfortunate injuries -- some things were out of my control," he said. "It happens like that, and hopefully the injuries are gone and we can move forward from there."
"Hopefully I can come in there and contribute and do whatever they need me to do, whatever position at linebacker they need me to be," he said. "I've been working really hard this offseason to get out there and make the plays I need to on the field and stay healthy."