Chuck Cook/ USA Today Sports

Rob Ninkovich on OMF: I'm staying retired after learning more about head trauma

Greg Levinsky
November 10, 2017 - 11:58 am

Rob Ninkovich isn't coming back.

Despite a slew of injuries for the New England Patriots, Ninkovich has not changed his mind. As a matter of fact, the rampant increase in injuries may be the top reason he is not considering a return.

"I've seen a ton of IR injuries this year, I don't know what's going on," Ninkovich said. "I don't want to go back to potentially injure myself. In the past eight years I missed just one game with an injury. When you're out there playing football you're pretty much rolling the dice every time you go out there."

Ninkovich also said the recent studies on head trauma have steered him away after what many view as a successful and long career in the NFL.

"Once you've heard the science behind it, you look at it and see what you get out of it if you continue to play. The risk versus the reward isn't there," Ninkovich said.

The 33-year-old Ninkovich joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria to discuss his retirement and outlook on both football and the Patriots. To listen to the entire interview visit OMF's audio on demand page.

Ninkovich says he has stayed in shape, with no intentions to play football again.

"I don't want to look like a melted candle like two months after retirement," he joked. 

He said he understands why players continue to play for the fame and spotlight, but he said that's not why he played. 

"Yes, I loved football, competing and being with my teammates," Ninkovich said. "I had to scrape and scratch and claw and do everything I had in me to play at a high level. I couldn't get away with taking a few plays off here or there, I'd be out of the league. I came back, played 11 years, won two Super Bowls and started a lot of games. It was awesome. I exceeded all the expectations and surpassed all the limitations on me as a football player."

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