The Miami/Wes Welker storyline cropped up again this week, referencing how playing his former team is just a little bit bigger than the normal game for the Patriots slot receiver.
Turns out that we had the wrong ex-Dolphin. Here’s Rob Ninkovich’s transaction history with Miami … Claimed off waivers (9/7/07) … Waived (9/31/08) … Signed to practice squad (10/3/08) … Signed to active roster (11/15/08) … Waived (11/21/08) … Signed to practice squad (11/22/08) … Sign off practice squad by New Orleans (12/3/08). In essence, Ninkovich was constantly a part of traditional Bill Parcells roster churning (a strategy used in New England, too), before the Saints, the team who drafted him in 2006 in the fifth round, brought him back.
And last night, he got over Miami with two picks and a sack. Not bad for an old piece of roster fodder.
“It feels pretty good,” said Ninkovich. “I was here as a practice squad. Now that I’m here playing against them, it feels good to play my own team.”
Ninkovich did exhibit a fair amount of class about the thing, to his credit, mentioning that he was playing another position while he was with Tony Sparano and Co., though he did crack about the 1-15 season before the Parcells regime arrived. “I was an inside ‘backer here,” he said. “I was here in ’07 for that great year and ’08.”