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Rob Ninkovich: Julian Edelman’s suspension “Isn’t the end of the world”

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The longtime Patriots defensive end is the latest to offer his two cents on how Julian Edelman should approach his PED punishment.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry in advance for that cover photo, it was just TOO good not to use. Is that the part in Jurassic World where Nink got snatched by a pteradactyl? Running away from an explosion in Lethal Weapon 6 featuring Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola and directed by Jerry Bruckheimer?

Too soon for that? My bad.

Back on topic, reactions from Patriots Nation have been all over the place from the absolute-doomsday-scenario-we’re-gonna-start-2-and-2-this-year while Edelman’s on double secret probation for his PED suspension all the way to “4 game vacation then REVENGE SZN BABAYYYYY!” And while Jules himself hasn’t said a peep since his appeal was denied right before our country’s birthday this month, a few of his old teammates that’ve been in the same boat have thrown their opinion out there - starting with Patriots anti-hero Rodney Harrison and now, retired defensive end Rob Ninkovich has some words for Edelman too.

According to the Boston Herald, Nink got in touch with Edelman after the suspension appeal news broke and gave him some tough advice that, like Rodney’s two cents, sounds pretty much like what your dad or older brother would tell you:

“You have to learn from your mistakes. Whatever supplement you took, if you say it was a mistake, it just can’t happen twice,” Ninkovich said. “If you make an honest mistake, and you say ‘I’m sorry,’ they’ll forgive you. But if you do it again, you can’t come back from that. Guys with multiple offenses are automatically out.”

“I just said it’s not the end of the world,” said Ninkovich, who retired before last season. “Yeah, it sucks. It’s not what you want to deal with at this point in your career. When I was going through it, I had gone through all these emotions of what people were going to think of me, and at the end of the day, the people that love you, and that support you, it doesn’t matter. If you’re playing football, when you’re done playing football, those people will still be there. The people that are bad-mouthing you, or aren’t on your side . . .”

Ninkovich didn’t finish the sentence. He just made a familiar gesture with his hand to express what he felt about those people.

Wonder what that gesture was!

At this point, though, Rob and Rodney are right, all you can do is approach this the same way you would a Sunday morning where you wake up and look around like “....oh boy, I don’t know what happened but I think I need to make some apologies”.

As luck would have it (and by luck, we mean “preparation”), the Patriots are pretty stacked with potential at wide receiver, if not proven talent; if you can think of some of the names on the list of almost 70 players that Tom Brady’s thrown a touchdown to in his career, you could do FAR worse than trotting out an Edelman-less lineup with Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Dwayne Allen, Phillip Dorsett, and Braxton Berrios, not to mention whichever longshot undrafted guy inevitably impresses in the preseason and makes the roster.

In the meantime, hey, Edelman could make a great grab-and-stash in your fantasy drafts, if you’re into that sort of thing.