Ninkovich finished the 2016 regular season with 32 tackles and four sacks over the course of 12 games. Ninkovich, who is set to play in his third Super Bowl on Sunday, missed four games to start the 2016 season after testing positive for a banned substance. Upon his return, the versatile defender re-established a degree of IDP utility in deeper formats and the 33-year-old is slated to stay in the mix in 2017, as Ninkovich is under contract with the Patriots next season.
Ninkovich was on the field for 46 of 68 defensive snaps in Sunday's 35-17 win over the Bengals, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. After seeing 24 snaps in Week 5, Ninkovich saw an increase in playing time in his second game back from a four-game suspension, recording four tackles in the process. Ninkovich is an option in deeper IDP formats, based on the assumption that he'll remain a key cog in the Patriots' D-line rotation going forward.
The Patriots officially activated Ninkovich from the suspended list in advance of Sunday's game against the Browns, the Boston Herald reports. The same applies to QB Tom Brady, with the team having created room for the moves by releasing TE Clay Harbor and placing QB Jacoby Brissett on IR earlier this week. While it's possible that he may be eased back into the team's D-line rotation this week -- along Jabaal Sheard, Chris Long and Trey Flowers -- once Ninkovich's workload is re-established, he's of interest in IDP formats.
Ninkovich, who had been dealing with a triceps injury and is eligible to return from suspension this week, is reportedly healthy enough to play, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. Once Ninkovich is officially reinstated, the injury watch will be on for him this week, as Sunday's game against the Browns approaches. Assuming he trends toward suiting up this weekend, Ninkovich is of some interest to those in IDP formats, given that he recorded 52 tackles and 6.5 sacks while starting at defensive end for the Patriots last season.
The Patriots have signed Ninkovich (suspension) to a one-year contract extension, NFL.com reports. Though he's suspended for the first four weeks of the regular season and concurrently nursing a triceps injury, the Patriots' brass still clearly considers Ninkovich a key piece of their defense for the foreseeable future. Previously set to hit the free agent market after at season's end, Ninkovich is now set to remain in New England through 2017.