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Quick Kicks: No sign of Ninkovich

500x305-20121231-ninkovich.jpg
500x305-20121231-ninkovich.jpg

There was no sign of injured defensive end Rob Ninkovich (left hip), who left the Dolphins game in the second quarter and never returned. His locker was devoid of civilian clothing and his chair was folded and put aside — normally a clear indication that a player has left the building for the day. It's unclear at this point how long Ninkovich will be out of commission on the field, if at all, now that New England has secured a first-round bye in the playoffs.

However, if he is on the shelf for any length of time, one player who could see increased action is Trevor Scott. He was among the few Patriots who went on-record today.

"We have a lot of depth here on defense. If someone goes down, we have the next guy that's going to step in and fill his role," said Scott. "No matter what happens, we need to keep moving forward. We never really know what's going to happen on Sundays.

"I just go in and perform every time I'm asked to. I mean, that's all I can really control."

The only other injury note: cornerback Marquice Cole was spotted briefly in the locker room, sporting a heavily wrapped splint on his left pinkie. The injury, presumably sustained in Week 16 against Jacksonville, kept him out of the regular season finale yesterday against Miami.

Having an extra week off to heal will be critical for the likes of Ninkovich, Cole, and the laundry list of some 20 other Patriots who were on the most recent injury report.

The added days between games will also help New England begin preparing for the three teams – Houston, Baltimore, and Indianapolis – who could be the Patriots' next opponent. Yet another advantage is that the Patriots have faced all three of those foes already this season.

"Absolutely, man," running back Stevan Ridley agreed. "The more film we have on whoever we play, the better. [The coaches] are going to look at it, put us in a position to be successful, and we have to execute. That's what we're looking at."

"We've pretty much taken everyone's best shot," added Scott. "We just need to go over the game films, see what we did right and wrong, and go from there."

There was no sign of injured defensive end Rob Ninkovich (left hip), who left the Dolphins game in the second quarter and never returned. His locker was devoid of civilian clothing and his chair was folded and put aside — normally a clear indication that a player has left the building for the day. It's unclear at this point how long Ninkovich will be out of commission on the field, if at all, now that New England has secured a first-round bye in the playoffs.

However, if he is on the shelf for any length of time, one player who could see increased action is Trevor Scott. He was among the few Patriots who went on-record today.

"We have a lot of depth here on defense. If someone goes down, we have the next guy that's going to step in and fill his role," said Scott. "No matter what happens, we need to keep moving forward. We never really know what's going to happen on Sundays.

"I just go in and perform every time I'm asked to. I mean, that's all I can really control."

The only other injury note: cornerback Marquice Cole was spotted briefly in the locker room, sporting a heavily wrapped splint on his left pinkie. The injury, presumably sustained in Week 16 against Jacksonville, kept him out of the regular season finale yesterday against Miami.

Having an extra week off to heal will be critical for the likes of Ninkovich, Cole, and the laundry list of some 20 other Patriots who were on the most recent injury report.

The added days between games will also help New England begin preparing for the three teams – Houston, Baltimore, and Indianapolis – who could be the Patriots' next opponent. Yet another advantage is that the Patriots have faced all three of those foes already this season.

"Absolutely, man," running back Stevan Ridley agreed. "The more film we have on whoever we play, the better. [The coaches] are going to look at it, put us in a position to be successful, and we have to execute. That's what we're looking at."

"We've pretty much taken everyone's best shot," added Scott. "We just need to go over the game films, see what we did right and wrong, and go from there."

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