Rob Ninkovich won’t be playing with the Patriots when they take on the Chiefs on Thursday night because he announced his retirement at the start of training camp.
Ninkovich’s retirement was followed by the release of Kony Ealy and the injury that landed Derek Rivers on injured reserve, leaving the team thinner on the edge than it looked like they’d be when camp got underway. During an appearance on CSN New England, Ninkovich was asked if there’d been any talk about returning to restore some depth.
Ninkovich said he’s been spending time with family, including a few last times with his grandfather before he died, and has not heard anything from the team, but admitted he’s thought about it and isn’t going to rule it out.
“I’m not closing the door. I’m not going to close the door. Just in case, you know, if something happened,” Ninkovich said.
The Patriots traded for Cassius Marsh last weekend and his arrival gives them a little more depth up front on defense, so there doesn’t appear to be any immediate reason to expect Ninkovich will walk back through the locker room doors. If that should change, though, Ninkovich has made it known that he’ll at least pick up the phone should the team give him a call.