Giants acquire Keith Rivers in trade

The Giants completed a trade Thursday with the Cincinnati Bengals to obtain linebacker Keith Rivers, who was drafted ninth overall in 2008.

The Giants, who sent a fifth-round pick (167th overall), to the Bengals are hoping Rivers can realize his potential after struggling with injuries in his career.

Rivers, who turns 26 next month, missed the 2011 season following surgery to repair a fractured wrist.

The former USC standout was a huge prospect who did not live up to expectations in Cincinnati. In three seasons, he started 33 games and had 186 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.

Rivers plays exclusively on the weak side, a spot where the Giants seemingly are set with Michael Boley and Jacquian Williams. A move could be in the works to shift Boley to middle linebacker, or have Rivers play inside.

Rivers has had injury problems dating back to USC and missed nine games in his rookie year with a broken jaw.

Still, the six-foot-two, 242-pounder has speed at a position the Giants want to upgrade. He’s scheduled to make $2.16 million this season and his contract for 2013 is voidable.