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Injury Update: Ninkovich Outlook "Doesn't Appear Encouraging"

We have our first Rob Ninkovich injury update, and things aren't looking too good thus far.

Jared Wickerham

We have our first update on defensive end Rob Ninkovich's hip injury. CSNNE's Tom Curran reports that the injury could be serious, and that Ninkovich's season could be in jepoardy:

Rob Ninkovich's injured hip will be more fully evaluated on Monday but the initial outlook doesn't appear encouraging.

The Patriots defensive end went down with 6:33 remaining in the first half. He appeared to be in significant pain as he lay on the field and needed substantial help from the medical staff to make it to the sidelines. Ninkovich hasn't missed a game since 2009. He rarely misses practices or even plays.

We'll wait for further reports before jumping to any conclusions. But if Ninkovich does miss the season, a possibility that Curran says is "in play," then it will be a very tough blow for the Patriots defense.

With eight sacks and five forced fumbles, Ninkovich is having his best season as a pro. He's arguably the Patriots' most versatile defender, and has been a steady presence on the team's defense for the past three seasons. If he's out, the Patriots will likely turn to a combination of Trevor Scott, Jermaine Cunningham, and Justin Francis to replace his production.