Guard Richie Incognito said Tuesday that he’s trying “to weather” the intense controversy during his indefinite suspension from the Miami Dolphins amid charges he bullied teammate Jonathan Martin to the extent Martin left the team.
“I’m just trying to weather the storm right now,” Incognito told Miami’s WSVN-Channel 7 in his first public comments since the club announced his suspension Sunday evening. “This will pass.”
Incognito would not comment on transcripts of voice mails in which he reportedly threatened Martin and used a racial slur.
The Dolphins moved forward without those two starting offensive linemen Tuesday, signing a guard off Dallas’ practice squad to fill Incognito’s roster spot.
There are no indications that Martin will return soon. But while the NFL is investigating the case and Martin’s representatives have gotten involved, Martin is still being paid by the team and is taking up a roster spot.
A league official said Tuesday that if Martin is placed on the reserve/non-football injury list, he will be done for the season.
The Dolphins signed guard David Arkin, who previously played for the Cowboys and was on the team’s practice squad this season. The Dolphins’ offensive line has struggled all season and now has major depth issues.
Nate Garner will start for Incognito and Tyson Clabo replaces Martin, but the Dolphins could be in trouble if any offensive line starter is injured.
Coach Joe Philbin and players did not meet with the media Tuesday, but the drama has continued to garner national attention. During the daily media briefing at the White House, spokesman Jay Carney said he was confident President Obama, who has spoken out against bullying, is aware of the Dolphins’ situation.
Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter, who briefly played with the Dolphins, criticized Philbin on ESPN, saying coaches like Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells and Nick Saban would have never let a locker room issue escalate to this level.