The New England Patriots have been dealt an significant blow today, as one of there more prominent defensive players will be unavailable to start the season.
Patriots' defensive end Rob Ninkovich told Mike Reiss of ESPN.com that he has been suspended four games for a violation of the leagues performance-enhancing drug policy. Ninkovich said he he failed a test after failing to make sure that a supplement he took was devoid of banned substances.
“Few things are more important to me than my name and reputation
. This might call that into question for some, which has me heartbroken,” Ninkovich said. “I don’t want to cut any corners. I want to do things the right way, with high integrity, and that’s what I have always wanted to stand for. … Any supplement I’ve ever used was bought at a store. I was unaware something I bought had a substance in it that would give me a positive test because it wasn’t listed [as an ingredient] … One thing I have learned is that if a supplement is not NSF certified there are no regulations that ensure that what is on the label is 100 percent accurate. That is a hard lesson for me to learn at this stage in my career, but I take responsibility for it. It’s a mistake I made and it hurts that I won’t be there for my teammates.”
Ninkovich has been a key part of the Patriots defense against the run and pass for the last six seasons. Ninkovich recorded 6.5 sacks, 52 tackles and a forced fumble during the 2015 season.
Maybe he and Tom Brady can hang out with all their time off.