First practice of Patriots training camp is underway. One notable absence: DE Rob Ninkovich.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 27, 2017
No Rob Ninkovich on the field for the Pats for the second straight day. Belichick confirmed it’s personal reasons. Said nothing further.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 28, 2017
Players miss practice all the time, but something feels different about Rob Ninkovich missing his second straight day of Pats training camp this year. With Nink turning 33 this past February and having just one year left on his contract, there is a lot of speculation that the Pats’ DE might be deciding to hang up his cleats and call it a career.
This is just days after the CTE report came out, which reportedly found CTE in over 90% of the brains donated by former NFL players. Since this report came out, we have seen Ravens 26-year-old offensive lineman John Urschel and former Bengals, Browns, and Patriots receiver Andrew Hawkins both retire. Could Ninkovich be the next one to follow this trend?
It was rumored after the Super Bowl that he was considering retirement, so maybe this new report has him leaning back towards that direction. If Rob Ninkovich were to retire, he would finish top 5 in sacks (46) and top 20 in tackles (279) in Patriots history. Nothing is official yet, but I feel like we’re going to know what’s up with Nink pretty soon.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)