By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The New England Patriots are expected to announce this afternoon that defensive lineman Rob Ninkovich is stepping away from the game. He’ll retire at 33-years-old.
Ninkovich is the second NFL player to retire in recent days. Former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel, 26, retired on Wednesday.
The Patriots have called a 12:15 pm EST press conference.
Ninkovich has been away from the team, as his former teammates were preparing for the upcoming season. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said “Ninkovich is dealing with personal reasons.”
He’s been considering retirement after the past few seasons. Yet, his career struggled before signing with the Patriots in Aug. 2009.
Ninkovich was a former fifth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. During his career, he appeared in a 123 games, including a 101 starts, with the Patriots from 2009 to 2016.
He’s also appeared in 17 playoff games, including 16 starts. He was also a part of two Super Bowl winning teams — and was a team captain of both teams.
With the Patriots, he had 423 tackles and 46 total sacks.
He began last season serving a four-game suspension after taking an over-the-counter substance. But he was his normal dominate self by the end of the season.
Ninkovich was supposed to compete this season with third-year player Trey Flowers — who led the Patriots with seven sacks last season. Kony Ealy — who was acquired in an off-season deal with the Carolina Panthers — Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise Jr. are also on the depth chart.
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