BOSTON (CBS) — It really didn’t take long for Rob Ninkovich to find his way back to the football field.

After announcing his retirement from the NFL on Sunday, the former Patriots linebacker/defense end was back on the practice field at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Ninkovich said that he would be sticking around New England and even hinted that he’d like to get into coaching at some point during his Sunday afternoon press conference, but also said he would take some time to decompress after his 11-year career in the NFL.

It turns out he only needed a few days before stepping back onto the turf. But this time in a much different role, as Ninkovich was seen working with the New England defensive line during Wednesday’s training camp practice.

nink Coach Rob Ninkovich Hits Practice Field With Patriots

Retired Patriots linebacker/defensive end Rob Ninkovich was spotted on the sidelines during Wednesday’s training camp session. (WBZ-TV)

While he likely won’t get an official coaching job with the team, it’s a nice benefit for rookies Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise to have someone like Ninkovich around in case they want to pick his brain. Ninkovich was also seen chatting with linebacker Kyle Van Noy during a break in the action.

The Patriots are a little thin at the defensive end position without Ninkovich, but while he may not be suiting up on the field, having the two-time Super Bowl champ to answer any questions New England’s younger players may have can only help.

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