The NFL announced Wednesday that attorney Ted Wells will lead its investigation of the Dolphins in response to allegations of workplace misconduct.
Wells, who has an MBA and law degree from Harvard, was involved in special investigations in the past, most notably involving a leadership dispute in the NBA’s players association and allegations of sexual harassment against Syracuse’s basketball team.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Wells will file a report to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and it will then be released to the public.
“We’ve been informed that commissioner Goodell has named special counsel Ted Wells to head up the review,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said in his opening statement at Wednesday’s news conference. “If the review reveals anything that needs to be corrected, we will take all necessary measure to fix it and ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
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Philbin later said he hasn’t been given an indication of how much time the investigation will take.
Wells said in an NFL news release: “I will begin my work immediately and report my findings to the commissioner as soon as practical.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross issued a statement in response Wednesday night.
“We take this situation seriously,” Ross said. “As the owner, I am committed to creating a professional environment for all of the members of the Dolphins family. Once the review is completed and I have all of the facts, we will respond accordingly.”
Although the Dolphins are eager to put the saga involving offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin behind them, Goodell did not say how long the investigation would take.
“Ted Wells will have full authority to investigate as he deems appropriate,” Goodell said in the NFL’s release. “He is on the job as of today and will undertake to complete his work as promptly as possible. Consistent with doing a thorough investigation, we have not imposed a specific timetable on him.”
Goodell continued: “Under league policy, all employees have the right to a workplace free of any form of harassment. We are fully committed to an appropriate working environment for all NFL personnel.”
Although Philbin didn’t comment further on the investigation itself, he did address allegations of a caustic locker room culture Wednesday.
“The type of culture that I’ve championed since the day that I walked through these doors has been one of honesty, respect and accountability to one another,” Philbin said. “I consider those to be hallmarks of this program, and I believe our locker room reflects those beliefs.”
It might seem like it has been an eternity since the Dolphins made news for something on the field, but the NFL announced Wednesday that defensive end Cameron Wake was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Bengals on Oct. 31.
Wake recorded three sacks in the game, including the decisive play that resulted in the Dolphins’ game-winning overtime safety. It was Wake’s fourth career game with at least three sacks but was his first such performance in a home game.
Said Wake: “That award, of course, is an individual award, but there’s no way at all that I could even have my name in that hat without the guys, [defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers], all my brothers who go out there every day and take on double teams so I can get the single.”
It is Wake’s first time receiving the award in his five-year career. The last Dolphins player to be decorated similarly was Randy Starks for his Week 5 performance last season, also against the Bengals.
Cornerback Nolan Carroll returned to practice Wednesday after sustaining a concussion in last Thursday’s game against the Bengals.
Carroll’s health looks to be of primary importance, with fellow corner Dimitri Patterson limited in Wednesday’s practice. In the portion of practice made available to the media, Patterson worked alone on the sidelines, separate from the team.
Patterson missed four games this season with a groin injury. The team isn’t required to disclose his current injury until Thursday, when it will release its first formal injury report of the week.
Linebackers Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins also were limited Wednesday. Tight end Dion Sims, who missed the Bengals game with a toe injury, practiced in full.