Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 1/1/13

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 14: Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by Rob Ninkovich of the New England Patriots during the game on November 14, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
When Patriots fans saw Rob Ninkovich go down and have to be helped off the field, it didn’t look good. Two trainers on each side on Ninkovich gave support as he could barely walk off the field. Trevor Scott took his place and played well, but everyone knows that Ninkovich is the straw that stirs the drink, leading the Patriots with 8 sacks. Tests revealed the defensive end avoided a serious injury, and there's a good chance he can play when the Patriots open the postseason Jan. 13, according Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Ninkovich suffered strained muscles in his hip, and with the bye week giving extra time to get treatment, Ninkovich's chances of playing is very good at best. Ninkovich probably won’t practice this week, but next week is a solid target. Bill Belichick in his post game conference talked about Ninkovich: "He's a tough kid. He's very competitive and he's got good versatility. His ability to help us in the kicking game as well as defensively over the years, including this year, is pretty valuable too. He does a good job." var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
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