FOXBORO -- In what could be a significant loss to the Patriots defense, linebacker and pass-rushing specialist Rob Ninkovich left Sunday's game against the Dolphins with a hip injury. The team announced his return was questionable.
Patriots medical staff were called onto the field by players with just under seven minutes remaining in the second quarter as Ninkovich laid on his back. Staff looked at his left knee before helping him to his feet. Ninkovich had to be helped off the field by two medical staffers, including team doctor Tom Gill. He immediately went to the locker room for treatment and an exam.
Ninkovich has five forced fumbles, including the game-clinching strip sack of Mark Sanchez in overtime against the Jets on Oct. 21. Ninkovich leads the team with eight sacks and has 11 quarterback hits.
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