Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin has left the team to seek treatment for emotional issues and will not play in Thursday’s game against the Bengals, multiple sources have told the Miami Herald.
But that’s just the start of the Dolphins’ problems. There appears to be growing division within the team’s locker room, with teammates harboring resentments. Furthermore, coach Joe Philbin in recent days berated a fellow coach in front of his players, according to a league source.
And this all comes on the heels of Mike Pouncey being served a grand jury subpoena in connection to the Aaron Hernandez case in the bowels of Gillette Stadium on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.
One league source plugged into the organization characterized the past few days in Davie as a state of “shambles.”
Also, a Dolphins source disputes the characteristic of growing dysfunction within the organization.
“We’re sticking together through this,” the source said.
Martin abruptly left the team after a prank apparently went wrong in the team’s lunch room Monday. He hasn’t been back since.
In Martin’s absence, Tyson Clabo probably will return to the starting lineup just one week after being benched.
The issues with Martin didn’t begin this week. He took a fair amount of ribbing as a rookie, and seemed “more aloof” in the days leading up to the incident, according to a teammate.
The teammate said he has reached out to Martin and has been told the second-year offensive lineman is spending time with his family.
Martin started the first six games of the season at left tackle and last week was abruptly moved to right tackle when Miami traded for Bryant McKinnie.
At that time, Martin had hinted he was not thrilled with the move and said he faced a choice of how to deal with it.
“You can approach this two different ways,” Martin said last week. “You can go in the tank and be one of those guys who bitches and moans and is a cancer in the locker room, or you can be a guy who goes out there and can be a professional and plays as hard as I can.”
But one source told the Miami Herald he doesn’t believe the move from one position to another is the reason Martin apparently “snapped.” The source said the behavior is probably evidence of deeper issues.
The only official comment from the organization was this: “Jonathan Martin’s status was addressed on the injury report as an illness.”
Martin’s issues aside, the locker room appears to be on the brink of disarray after a four-game losing streak.
A league source said teammates are harboring resentment toward other teammates, and the cracks are beginning to show.
The coaching staff is showing signs of strain, too.
In recent days, Philbin dressed down a top assistant in front of the team during practice. A league source said Philbin wasn’t happy with the team’s focus during a slow portion of the workout.
Three Dolphins players — corner Brent Grimes (quad), tackle Bryant McKinnie (knee) and defensive end Olivier Vernon (knee) — were listed as probable in Wednesday’s injury report.