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|currentteam=New England Patriots
 
|currentteam=New England Patriots
 
|currentnumber=50
 
|currentnumber=50
|currentpositionplain=[[Defensive end]] / [[Outside Linebacker]]
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|currentpositionplain=[[Defensive end]]
 
|birth_date={{birth date and age|1984|2|1}}
 
|birth_date={{birth date and age|1984|2|1}}
 
|birth_place=[[Blue Island, Illinois]]
 
|birth_place=[[Blue Island, Illinois]]
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|nfl=NIN311468
 
|nfl=NIN311468
 
}}
 
}}
'''Robert Michael Ninkovich''' (born February 1, 1984) is an [[American football]] [[defensive end]] and [[outside linebacker]] for the [[New England Patriots]] of the [[National Football League]] (NFL).
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'''Robert Michael Ninkovich''' (born February 1, 1984) is an [[American football]] [[defensive end]] for the [[New England Patriots]] of the [[National Football League]] (NFL).
   
 
==Early years==
 
==Early years==
Rob Ninkovich was born in [[Blue Island, Illinois]] to a family of [[Croatian American|Croatian]] origin.<ref>{{cite web|title = Rob Ninkovich: Iron, man|work = Boston Herald|url = http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/view/20101017rob_ninkovich_iron_man_patriots_lbs_family_beams_with_pride|accessdate = February 05, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.vecernji.hr/sport/ostalo/diehl-naslov-super-bowlu-slavio-hrvatskim-salom-clanak-373938|title=Diehl naslov u Super Bowlu slavio s hrvatskim šalom| publisher =[[Večernji list]]|language=Croatian | date = 2012-02-06 | accessdate = 2013-04-28}}</ref> Following seventh grade, Rob's family relocated to [[New Lenox, Illinois]]. He attended [[Lincoln-Way Central High School]] in New Lenox where he played [[defensive end]], [[tight end]], and [[Fullback (American football)|fullback]].<ref name="DolphinsBio">{{cite web | title = TEAM: Roster Rob Ninkovich Profile | work = MiamiDolphins.com | url = http://www.miamidolphins.com/newsite/team/roster/playerBio.asp?docid=29046 | accessdate = July 5, 2008 }}</ref> Rob earned All-State honors for defensive end during his senior year. He also lettered in baseball.<ref name="DolphinsBio"/>
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Rob Ninkovich was born in [[Blue Island, Illinois]] to a family of [[Croatian American|Croatian]] origin.<ref>{{cite web|title = Rob Ninkovich: Iron, man|work = Boston Herald|url = http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/view/20101017rob_ninkovich_iron_man_patriots_lbs_family_beams_with_pride|accessdate = February 05, 2012}}</ref> Following seventh grade, Rob's family relocated to [[New Lenox, Illinois]]. He attended [[Lincoln-Way Central High School]] in New Lenox where he played [[defensive end]], [[tight end]], and [[Fullback (American football)|fullback]].<ref name="DolphinsBio">{{cite web | title = TEAM: Roster Rob Ninkovich Profile | work = MiamiDolphins.com | url = http://www.miamidolphins.com/newsite/team/roster/playerBio.asp?docid=29046 | accessdate = July 5, 2008 }}</ref> Rob earned All-State honors for defensive end during his senior year. He also lettered in baseball.<ref name="DolphinsBio"/>
   
 
==College career==
 
==College career==
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Ninkovich returned in [[2010 New England Patriots season|2010]], beginning the season as a starter at outside linebacker. In the team's Week 4 game against the [[Miami Dolphins]] on [[Monday Night Football]], Ninkovich recorded his first career interception, and later in the game added another interception and a sack. He finished the season with a career-high 62 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions in 16 games played (10 starts).
 
Ninkovich returned in [[2010 New England Patriots season|2010]], beginning the season as a starter at outside linebacker. In the team's Week 4 game against the [[Miami Dolphins]] on [[Monday Night Football]], Ninkovich recorded his first career interception, and later in the game added another interception and a sack. He finished the season with a career-high 62 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions in 16 games played (10 starts).
   
During the 2011 NFL season, Ninkovich recorded his first NFL touchdown when he intercepted a pass from [[New York Jets]] QB [[Mark Sanchez]] and returned it 12 yards for the touchdown. He also had another interception in the 3rd quarter of the same game when [[Jerod Mayo]] tipped the ball and Ninkovich caught it. Ninkovich had the best statistical season of his career, recording 74 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown), 1 forced fumble, and 3 recovered fumbles while starting all 16 games regular season games. During the Patriots' 2011–2012 playoff run, Rob recorded 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a loss, and 2 quarterback hits against the Broncos during the Divisional Playoff game. Rob also recorded seven tackles against the Ravens during the second round Conference Championship Game.
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During the 2011 NFL season, Ninkovich recorded his first NFL touchdown when he intercepted a pass from New York Jet's QB [[Mark Sanchez]] and returned it 12 yards for the touchdown. He also had another interception in the 3rd quarter of the same game when [[Jerod Mayo]] tipped the ball and Ninkovich caught it. Ninkovich had the best statistical season of his career, recording 74 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 2 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown), 1 forced fumble, and 3 recovered fumbles while starting all 16 games regular season games. During the Patriots' 2011–2012 playoff run, Rob recorded 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 tackle for a loss, and 2 quarterback hits against the Broncos during the Divisional Playoff game. Rob also recorded seven tackles against the Ravens during the second round Conference Championship Game. During the 2012 offseason, he was moved to defensive end, his previous starting outside linebacker position being filled by rookie [[Dont'a Hightower]].
 
During the 2012 offseason, he was moved to defensive end, his previous starting outside linebacker position being filled by rookie [[Dont'a Hightower]]. Ninkovich, starting opposite rookie [[Chandler Jones]], led the team with 8 sacks and netted 58 tackles. He also forced 5 fumbles, including 2 in a game against the [[Denver Broncos]] and a game-ending overtime strip sack against the Jets.
 
   
 
===Super Bowl===
 
===Super Bowl===

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