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New England Patriots Rob Ninkovich could play in divisional round

So here is some great news coming to us from the Boston Herald. New England Patriots starting left end Rob Ninkovich suffered what looked to be a severe hip injury in Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins, and he had to be helped off the field and into the locker room. A few beat writers believed that the injury was serious enough to possibly cost him his season, and we could only feel the worst with the way Ninkovich looked right after the play.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

However, Jeff Howe is reporting that, “there’s a good chance”, Ninkovich can play in the Patriots playoff opener in the divisional round on the 13th of January. He reportedly “avoided a serious injury” and only has “strained muscles in his hip”. This is the best news I have heard all day, and that includes the firing of Mike Tannenbaum.

In addition to being one of the best run-stopping defensive ends in the game today, Rob Ninkovich provides a pass rushing presence in bursts. He doesn’t consistently pressure the quarterback as much as I’d like, but his eight sacks show that when he does get pressure, he overwhelms the right side of an offensive line. Ninkovich is also a versatile weapon on defense who can play anywhere in the front seven, and he is also one tough hombre and a leader on this defense.

Bill Belichick said this about Ninkovich, ”He’s a tough kid. He’s very competitive and he’s got good versatility. His ability to help us in the kicking game as well as defensively over the years, including this year, is pretty valuable too. He does a good job.”

Belichick loves to praise Ninkovich’s versatility, and it is clear that the Patriots value versatility in every player. They also value toughness and competitive players, which makes Ninkovich an even more important part of this team. It’s great that he might not be missing any games after all, and we’ll see if he can get on the practice field next week. Howe said that it’s not realistic to expect the DE practicing this week, and I wholeheartedly agree with him on that. Well, it’s always wise to agree with those smarter than you.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

Topics: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Rob Ninkovich

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  • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

    While Niko is a valuable versatile player on defense, Francis and Scott are very good depth players especially the emergence of Francis as of late. I can see why Brace was released, Francis can line up anywhere on the D-line and play effectively.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Francis and Scott are great pass rushers to have in the rotation, so I don’t think we’ll see a drop-off in pressure if Ninko is out. We will, however, lose some ground in run defense. Francis is turning into the pass rushers Brace should have been for the Patriots.

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