Olivier Vernon was a fighter Wednesday, but a watcher Thursday.
A day after scrapping with Panthers tackle Michael Oher — against coach Joe Philbin’s explicit instructions — Vernon did not participate in any live reps Thursday against Carolina offensive linemen.
But this was no punishment for Wednesday’s mini melee, Philbin insisted. Instead, Vernon “had a little medical situation we were just being preventive with,” the Dolphins coach added.
It was not immediately clear if the undisclosed issue will keep Vernon out of Saturday’s preseason game in Charlotte.
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With Vernon sidelined, second-year defensive end Terrence Fede took snaps at right defensive end — a sign the Dolphins might view him as their first end off the bench this season.
“It felt good to go with ones today, working with Earl [Mitchell], [Ndamukong] Suh and [Cameron] Wake getting action against other ones,” Fede said. “Most of camp I’ve been going against twos, sometimes ones, so today was a great opportunity for me to get out there.”
Vernon downplayed the altercation with Oher — whose life story was the subject of the Oscar-winning movie The Blind Side. He said the incident, which started with shoving and led to a few open-fist punches, “was just a little tussle man. Everybody blew it out of proportion.”
When asked if Philbin addressed the fight with him, Vernon didn’t exactly answer.
“We ain’t come here to fight around,” he said. “We just came here to get better as a team. Both teams understood that, and that’s what we did today.”
That’s not to say there wasn’t a few heated moments Thursday. And a few light ones too.
A back-and-forth between Cam Newton and Suh after an 11-on-11 drill was the latter (we think).
Newton loudly talked some trash to Suh, bringing up, among other topics, Suh’s ever-expanding bank account. (Suh signed a $114 million contract in March.)
“Your life is pretty good right now,” Newton said to Suh.
Later, Suh responded to the barb to reporters: “Life is good for me? I don’t know about that. I’m definitely happy about my life, but there’s more to accomplish.”
ODDS AND ENDS
▪ Philbin, on the much-scrutinized Dolphins line: “I think guys are getting better, I really do. I watched some of the one-on-ones and yesterday I was only over for the second portion of it, but guys are getting better. ... They didn’t win every single one, but I could see progress with these guys.”
▪ Ryan Tannehill capped an impressive two-minute drill with a touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews.
▪ Greg Jennings did not practice Thursday with an elbow injury. Jordan Tripp (ankle), Koa Misi (calf) and DeVante Parker (foot) also sat out.
▪ Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge will perform in the Sun Life Stadium parking lot at the festival capping the Dolphins Cancer Challenge on Feb. 20. Tickets are available at DolphinsCancerChallenge.com for $50. Proceeds benefit the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.