UPDATE (8:45 p.m. ET): The injury New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich suffered Tuesday reportedly is not as severe as initially feared.
A source told the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe that Ninkovich’s torn triceps will sideline him for “weeks, not months.”
The Patriots open their regular-season schedule Sept. 11 in Arizona.
ORIGINAL STORY: Rob Ninkovich’s streak of 102 consecutive regular-season games played almost certainly will come to an end next month.
The New England Patriots defensive end on Tuesday suffered a torn triceps muscle, according to a report from ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss.
There is no timetable for his return, per Reiss, but he surely will not be ready to go when the Patriots visit the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1.
Ninkovich has missed just one regular-season game since joining the Patriots in 2009, and he has played in all 16 contests in each of the six seasons.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport did offer some more positive news, however, reporting Ninkovich will not need surgery and could return to the field as early as October.
The Patriots entered training camp with great depth at defensive end, including Jabaal Sheard, newcomers Chris Long and Shea McClellin, and second-year pros Trey Flowers and Geneo Grissom.
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