a blog by La Kifo
Julian Edelman was seen spiking his helmet before being carted off the Patriots practice facility, a little while later, Rob Ninkovich was spotted walking off the field with two trainers.
Edelman was taken off the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) on Sunday. Today would mark his third day of training camp. Edelman seemed to suffer the injury during a one-on-one drill. The quick twitch receiver took himself off the field, slamming his helmet to the field in disgust.
Ian Rapoport has reported that the apparent injury to Edelmans leg is not believed to be serious. Good news, but bittersweet, it's not good that we are dealing with injuries this early in camp to important players like Edelman and Ninkovich.
As for Ninkovich, reports state he is dealing with a triceps injury. Nink will undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury, according to Mike Reiss. I guess good always goes with bad, because this is bad. Nink, is a key player on the d-line for the Pats. He sets the edge, nearly never fails to contain runners and is overall just a really smart Bill Belichick type player. It is especially degrading due to the fact that Bill traded away Chandler Jones.
What this injury does do though, is give a huge opportunity to Chris Long. Over the years, Bill has loved to sign aging veterans to team friendly contracts only to cut them before the season starts. Chris Long, seemed to be on the insider track to the free agent list before the season starts in Denver. A triceps injury, no matter the severity, is a bad injury for any type of lineman, especially a defensive end. I have doubt Long can replicate the production of Ninkovich, but Long is not as well rounded of a player as Nink. Long is a pass rush specialist, or at least has been the majority of his career. He's never been able to play the run as effectively as Nink, or drop out into coverage like Nink does. What the Patriots can do is give Ninkovichs role to Jabaal Sheard, who has shown more versatility than Long. Then turn Long into strict situational pass rusher. That would certainly create the least amount of chaos on the defensive side for the Patriots, but as Pats fans should know, there is a hundred different looks Bill and Matt Patricia can create with their defensive personnel and it is more likely to see all sorts of defensive fronts.
Hopefully, the report on Edelman is true, Ninkovich's MRI comes back showing minimal damage and we keep players off of Injured Reserve this early in camp.
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