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As Tom Brady awaits appeal decision, teammates show support

Echoing what teammate Julian Edelman said Saturday, Patriots defensive lineman Rob Ninkovich said Sunday that players cannot worry about the result of an anticipated appeal decision regarding quarterback Tom Brady and Deflategate.

The defending Super Bowl champions report to camp July 29, and the Patriots await a decision on Brady’s appeal of a four-game suspension.

Ninkovich was enjoying one of his last days before camp by driving the pace car prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The veteran lineman was asked what it’s been like to watch his friend go through the tumultuous offseason.

“Tom’s a very competitive person,” Ninkovich said. “I don’t think I’ve met another person that competes like he does. … In anything, he wants to make it a challenge and compete.

“That whole situation is unfortunate. I don’t really want to touch on the subject. But it’s out of our control, and you just have to really focus on yourself and try to do the best you can to help your team out.”

Ninkovich said he has no plans between now and the start of training camp.

“I’m ready to go, ready to play and am excited,” Ninkovich said. “I’ve already taken the trips and the vacations. So right now it is hang out at home and relax.”