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Rob Ninkovich on Tom Brady suspension: I can only control how I play

New England Patriots v New York Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 15: Rob Ninkovich #50 of the New England Patriots looks on against the New York Giants during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 15, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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The wait for word from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s request for a rehearing of the appeal that led to the reinstatement of his four-game suspension continues, which means the Patriots still can’t be sure about whether he’ll be available at the start of the season.

Even without the desired ruling on that request, Brady could push to have the Supreme Court hear the case and have the suspension stayed in the process so there might not be certainty on that front for a while. During an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan, Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich suggested the only way for the Patriots to deal with it all is by following coach Bill Belichick’s reminder to do your job.

“I think Bill does a great job,” Ninkovich said. “Every year, he gives us everything we need to understand as far as going into a season, where we need to be mentally. I think we all know that we have to go out there and perform at a high level and we have to put in the work now and put in the work in the offseason, put in the work in training camp. That’s when all the games are won and lost. You can’t think about other things that can affect how you play because you can’t control it. Everything that’s going to happen with all that stuff is out of my control. What I can control is how I play on Sunday. Really, that’s what everyone else is thinking: How can we perform better and whatever else comes out of it, we all might have to step up. That’s just the way it is.”

It’s pretty much what you’d expect the Patriots’ approach to the Brady affair to be because it has pretty much been their approach to anything and everything that could be labeled as a distraction during Belichick’s era. They’ve handled most of them pretty well in the past, which should provide some confidence that they’ll do the same as the latest chapter of this long saga plays out.