Patriots gridiron news: Rob Ninkovich says he’s staying retired

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Rob Ninkovich
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Rob Ninkovich /

Retired New England Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich just put any rumors of him coming out of retirement to rest.

If the New England Patriots defense is going to continue trending upward following the injury to Dont’a Hightower, they will have to do it without Rob Ninkovich.

Following weeks of rumors and wishing that he would unretired, the 33-year-old Ninkovich says the amount of injuries he has seen this season has deterred him from any glimpse of a return.

"“I’ve seen a ton of IR injuries this year, I don’t know what’s going on,” Ninkovich said in his appearance on Ordway, Merloni & 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.”"

New England Patriots
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: New England Patriots player Rob Ninkovich during the Super Bowl LI Pregame Show at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images) /

While this would be a nice time to come back, the retired defensive playmaker is putting his health in front of any urge he has to play.  He understands those who take the chances by playing football each Sunday, but for him, recent studies on head trauma is enough for him to enjoy the sport as a spectator.

"“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,” he continued.More from Chowder and Champions3 Midseason Chaim Bloom Decisions That Have Killed the 2023 Red Sox10 Patriots Who Will Be Cut by Tuesday’s Roster DeadlineMLB Screws Red Sox Fans With Broadcast for Mookie Betts Return3 Most Underpaid Celtics Heading Into the 2023 SeasonRed Sox Continue Rollercoaster Season With Massive Win"

Sounds like a man who has his mind made up.  Now Patriots fans will just have to focus on the players currently on the team to step up and perhaps become the next Ninkovich.  The most likely candidate is Kyle Van Noy.

Ricky Jean Francois lives on Dunkin’

 New Patriots defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois loves new teammate Rob Gronkowski for one interesting reason.

Francois owns 30 Dunkin Donuts franchises down south.  That in itself makes him a welcomed addition in the New England area.  So when he saw Gronkowski, the Dunkin Donuts spokesman himself, excitement was his reaction.

"“I love him because he’s got business booming now,” Jean Francois said, via WEEI.  “I tell him, every time I look at that commercial I smile.  Every time you see it and I see Gronk, I’m like, ‘I’m making a whole lot of money just for seeing his pretty face.’”"

Patriots release Geneo Grissom

To make room for Martellus Bennett, the New England Patriots have waived defensive end Geneo Grissom.  He is of course eligible to return to the practice squad if he clears waivers.

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Grissom has spent the majority of his time with the Patriots on the practice squad after he was drafted by the team in 2015.