Fresh off being released to play after his four-game suspension, New England Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich is also be healthy enough to play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2016
This is welcome news for the Patriots, who are also welcoming back quarterback Tom Brady this week.
Without the two veteran leaders, New England did as well as anyone could have expected, going 3-1 to this point. Now that Brady is returning, the Patriots are in fantastic shape to run the table in the AFC East, per usual.
Getting Ninkovich should make a big difference on defense as well. He’s been a steady presence on New England’s defensive front, racking up at least 6.5 sacks the past five years running (27 sacks during this stretch).
The interesting thing about Ninkovich’s suspension is that he would have likely not been able to play during the first few weeks with his triceps injury. Things just seem to work out that way for the Patriots, do they not?
After the Browns, New England faces a gauntlet of opponents the next four weeks — the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks. Needless to say, the Pats are getting Brady and Ninkovich back in the nick of time.