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Patriots ED Rob Ninkovich faces potential 4-game suspension

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The first major news piece of the day was not a roster cut, but rather news of Patriots edge defender Rob Ninkovich potentially facing a 4-game suspension for a banned substance. Ninkovich is currently rehabbing from a triceps tear that put his availability to start the season in jeopardy. If the suspension sticks after appeal, Ninkovich would be guaranteed to miss the first four weeks of the season although I'm not too entirely sure how the rehab process could go if he can't visit the team to rehab his injury. The Patriots can withstand such an absence with a deep and versatile group of edge rushers.

This suspension could be the reason why the Patriots went ahead and did the Barkevious Mingo trade. The Patriots will miss Ninkovich's versatility as an edge setter and a rusher who was equally as liable to drop as he was to rush the QB. With the need for someone to replace him on run defense, Chris Long and Trey Flowers suddenly became more important in the defensive scheme. While Long and Flowers aren't as good dropping back into coverage, they can handle the edge setting and pass rushing duties fine.

One silver lining to this is the Patriots could carry an extra player on the 53-man roster. On my roster projection, I had to cut Cameron Fleming despite the injury to Nate Solder in the 4th preseason game. With an extra roster spot open, I have him on the 53-man roster.