NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — It’s official.

The Bengals traded linebacker Keith Rivers to the Giants on Thursday for a fifth-round draft pick, ending his four-year stay in Cincinnati marred by frequent injuries.

Rivers missed all last season recovering from surgery on his right wrist. He’s been limited to 35 games in four seasons.

“I’m excited to get a fresh start and brand new beginning,” Rivers said. “You can’t ask for more than to be playing for the defending world champions and be in New York.”

The Bengals made Rivers the ninth overall pick in the 2008 draft and installed him as a starter. He broke his jaw on a hit by Steelers receiver Hines Ward in the seventh game and missed the rest of his rookie season. He missed time the next two seasons because of calf and foot injuries.

“This is an excellent opportunity for him to have a fresh start,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “Keith is versatile enough to play the outside on first and second down and he can play on third down because he runs well. And he’s fast enough to rush the passer.”

Rivers can’t wait to get started behind the Giants’ fearsome defensive line.

“You definitely look forward to playing with guys like that,” Rivers said of the group that includes Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Chris Canty and Jason Pierre-Paul. “When you’re in coverage you know you don’t have to cover that long and when you’re in the run game you know if you’re not making the play it’s getting stopped in the backfield by one of those D-linemen.”

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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