Miami Dolphins

NFL to crack down on obscene language and gestures

If Randy Starks uses an obscene gesture directed at the Dolphins bench this year, he can expect a 15-yard penalty.

The NFL wants to clean up the potty language this year, spurred in part by the Dolphins’ bullying scandal. And so, officials will flag players who curse or flash offensive gestures with an unsportsmanlike penalty personal foul.

That includes words and actions directed at teammates and coaches —like Starks’ infamous middle finger to the Dolphins’ bench in the 2013 season opener.

“He better not let me see him do it,” said NFL line judge Mark Perlman, in town to brief Dolphins players on rule changes and points of emphasis.

Officials will have zero tolerance this fall for obscene, abusive language, particularly that of a racial or sexual orientation nature, and if it is used it will result in a flag.

The league has also banned blocks in which an offensive player rolls up the side or back of a defender’s leg. Another change: the clock will continue to run after a sack late in the first and second halves; before, it was stopped to get the ball spotted.

This year also brings a change to the instant replay system. In-stadium officials will be able to discuss plays with the league office in real time.



Matt Moore

, the Dolphins’ backup quarterback, is dealing with a shoulder injury and likely will not participate in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage (9:30 a.m., Sun Life Stadium). Wide receiver

Matt Hazel

(concussion) is also expected to miss multiple practices.

• Friday was the fourth consecutive day with a Dolphins practice, and so

Joe Philbin

gave a number of veterans a breather. Tackle

Branden Albert

, guard

Daryn Colledge

, receivers

Brian Hartline


Brandon Gibson

and corners

Brent Grimes


Cortland Finnegan

were among those to get a maintenance day off from extensive work.

• Linebacker

Jelani Jenkins

stopped practicing midway through Friday morning’s session. He watched the remainder from the sideline with a wrap on his right leg.


Mike Wallace

continues to rest as he recovers from a minor hamstring injury.

• Philbin singled out Moore, receiver

Rishard Matthews

and tight end

Dion Sims

as the Dolphins reserves who have impressed this summer.

• The Dolphins on Friday signed linebacker

Ryan Rau

, a former Philadelphia Eagle who appeared in the Canadian Football League last year. They waived/injured linebacker

Tariq Edwards

to make room.

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