Within hours of his battery arrest back in August, Chad Johnson was no longer a member of the Miami Dolphins. Joe Philbin cut him, and the audience for HBO’s Hard Knocks got to watch it happen.
But a day after Jonathon Amaya was locked up on charges he put hands on a South Beach cab driver, Amaya was in uniform and at Dolphins practice.
The divergent outcomes to similar charges suggest that Philbin doesn’t have a one-strike-and-you’re-out policy when it comes to run-ins with the law.
“There are always circumstances surrounding any incident,” Philbin said Wednesday. “The big thing we want to do is be fair any time we make a decision regarding a player in the program. That’s the overriding principle.”
Amaya, a third-year safety, was released Tuesday on $1,500 bond. He faces misdemeanor battery charges.
Amaya agreed to speak to reporters in the locker room Wednesday, saying that he’s “very grateful, very grateful” to still have a job. But he declined to talk more about his arrest.
“Everything regarding the matter has been handled by myself and within the organization internally,” said Amaya, whose five special teams tackles are fourth-most on the team.
“I’m just really focused on the Patriots this week and doing anything I can to help the team.”
Fullback Jorvorskie Lane sat out Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury, wearing a brace on his left leg as he worked with trainers on the sidelines.
Tight end Anthony Fasano (hip) and linebacker Austin Spitler (ankle) were limited in practice , while Davone Bess, Nolan Carroll, Karlos Dansby, Pat Devlin, Reshad Jones and Daniel Thomas all worked without limitation.
Six Patriots missed practice altogether, including three starters on the offensive line: Dan Connolly (back), Logan Mankins (ankle/calf) and Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee).
The decision to deactivate running back Lamar Miller last Sunday was a bit of surprise, considering his yards-per-rush average (5.4) is the highest of any Dolphin with more than one carry.
On Wednesday, Philbin said the move wasn’t “necessarily an indictment” of Miller’s performance in practice or in games.
“You make a decision on the 46-man roster based on what guys that particular week are going to give you the best chance to win that game,” Philbin said. “There’s a host of factors that go into that decision.”
By sitting down Miller, the Dolphins chose to deactivate rookies they took in the third ( Michael Egnew), fourth (Miller) and fifth ( Josh Kaddu) rounds of April’s draft.
Odds and ends
• One lucky Dolphins player might wake up Thursday a lot richer than when he went to sleep. Reggie Bush was among several Dolphins who planned to buy a Powerball ticket ahead of the $550 million drawing late Wednesday evening.
When asked whether he had any lucky numbers he planned to play, Bush said: “I think I’m just going to let the machine do it and hope for the best.”
• The Patriots’ plus-24 margin in turnover is impressive, but the league’s all-time record is likely safe. New England would need to cause 19 more turnovers than it commits over the last five weeks of the season to tie the 1983 Redskins (plus-43).