FOXBORO – Two of the Patriots who’ll be next-in-line now that Rob Ninkovich is down said Wednesday that they have his back.
“I don’t know the specifics of Rob’s injury,” said defensive end Chris Long. “It’s pretty early. I just know Rob’s a competitor. He works his ass off every day. He’s done that for a number of years. He’s a great example to other guys on the team and I’m sure he’ll continue to serve as that example. Certainly we’re gonna stand by Rob through the process and just be the best teammate I can be to him.”
The rotation on the edge will be interesting to watch get hashed out. Long steps forward and then it’ll be a mix of second-year players Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers and veteran Shea McClellin.
“It’s unfortunate [that Ninkovich is injured] but it’s been the same forever,” said McClellin. “One guy goes down, the next comes up and carries the flag.”
Who gets what role? That will sort itself out, said Long. “I’ll figure out what it is I’m asked to do and I’ll do it to the best of my ability.”
Patriots seven-time Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater is in Pittsburgh on Saturday making a free-agent visit to the rival Steelers, according to an ESPN's Field Yates.
Slater, who turns 33 in September, has spent the past 10 seasons in a New England. The special teams captain and one of the leaders in the locker room signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract extension in 2016.
The Patriots lost special teamer Johnson Bademosi to the Texans in free agency on Friday but signed special teamers Brandon Bolden and Brandon King just before the free agency period began.
More to come...
Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment.
Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".
Click here to listen and see how he did.