Friday, September 02, 2016
It looked as if the Patriots dodged a bullet during training camp when Rob Ninkovich originally appeared to suffer a significant triceps injury only to learn it would not require surgery and he’d be available at some point early in the season. Now the earliest Ninkovich could return is Week 5 after ESPNBoston.com reported the veteran defensive end will be serving a four-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance.
Like Tom Brady, Ninkovich will be banned from the team’s facilities for the first four weeks and will have no contact with the team during that time. Ninkovich told ESPN he is devastated over the news.
“Few things are more important to me than my name and reputation. This might call that into question for some, which has me heartbroken,” Ninkovich said. “I don’t want to cut any corners. I want to do things the right way, with high integrity, and that’s what I have always wanted to stand for.”
The suspension has yet to be announced by the league but Ninkovich decided to tell ESPN about his plight.