Why Rob Ninkovich Is Staying Retired, Not Returning To Patriots

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by on at 7:06PM

Rob Ninkovich certainly left a void on the New England Patriots’ defense when he decided to retire before the 2017 season.

After the loss of linebacker Dont’a Hightower, many wondered if Ninkovich might be tempted to return to his former team to try and win a third Super Bowl of his career.

But the glut of injuries suffered by the Patriots is the exact reason why you won’t see Ninkovich chasing the quarterback again.

“I’ve seen a ton of IR injuries this year, I don’t know what’s going on,” Ninkovich said Friday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria.” “I don’t want to go back to potentially injure myself. In the past eight years I missed just one game with an injury. When you’re out there playing football you’re pretty much rolling the dice every time you go out there.”

There’s also the issue of CTE, which has caused Ninkovich to see how dangerous the game really is.

“Once you’ve heard the science behind it, you look at it and see what you get out of it if you continue to play. The risk versus the reward isn’t there,” Ninkovich said.

The 33-year-old is proud of his football career and doesn’t believe he has anything left to accomplish.

“Yes, I loved football, competing and being with my teammates,” Ninkovich said. “I had to scrape and scratch and claw and do everything I had in me to play at a high level. I couldn’t get away with taking a few plays off here or there, I’d be out of the league. I came back, played 11 years, won two Super Bowls and started a lot of games. It was awesome. I exceeded all the expectations and surpassed all the limitations on me as a football player.”

Looks like the Patriots will have to defend their Super Bowl title without Ninkovich’s help.

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