DAVIE, Fla. — Dion Jordan now can feel like he’s really part of the NFL.
Yes, the Miami Dolphins defensive end practiced for the first time Tuesday, but he also has successfully made it through his first round of rookie hazing.
Jordan, taken last April out of Oregon with the No. 3 pick in the draft, was showing off at training camp orange dye on the each side of his hair and a three-inch-wide strip that cut down the middle. The procedure was performed Monday night by defensive tackle Paul Soliai.
“I’m paying my dues,” said the mild-mannered Jordan. “It’s nothing. I’m not the only guy who has to go through it. I’m just doing what (the veterans) want me to do to get it over with. … I looked in the mirror. I don’t know how my mother would feel about it, but it’s all right.”
Jordan can worry about mom later. Now, he’s concerned with trying to impress the coaches.
Jordan missed the first two days of camp after having been put Sunday on the non-football injury (NFI) list because he had not fully healed from right shoulder surgery five months ago. The injury also had kept him out of all mini-camps since being drafted, although the rookie camp in the first weekend of May was the only he was allowed to attend due to Oregon being on the quarter system.
Placing Jordan on the NFI list turned out to be mostly a procedural move until he got medical clearance. He was taken off the list Tuesday morning.
“Not necessarily,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said when asked if he was surprised Jordan was on the NFI for just two days. “We wouldn’t put anybody out there who wasn’t physically capable of doing the things we are going to ask him to do on the practice field.”
Jordan performed only individual drills as the Dolphins did contact work for the first time in camp. Philbin said it will be a “gradual process” in getting Jordan involved in contact.
“It felt real good, first of all just getting out there with the guys and begin able to run around, hit things and get back to normal football routine,” Jordan said of at least getting on the field Tuesday.
One thing Jordan didn’t do was run when it came to rookie hazing. Soliai had invited Jordan and several other rookies to his room Monday night.
Soliai then went to work. He said Jordan “manned up” and didn’t complain.
“It just a little chemical my wife (Letasha) taught me how to (do),” Soliai said. “She does her hair a lot. She just showed me how to do it. So I just followed it and put it on the hair.”
Jordan, though, isn’t done being hazed.
“We’re waiting for our No. 1 to get that paycheck, so we can have a good time,” said defensive end Jared Odrick.
In the meantime, the Dolphins also are waiting to see what Jordan will provide on the field. While he already has missed time in the spring and to start camp, Philbin is not worried about Jordan catching up.
“We are teaching him the system and getting him acclimated to the scheme, stance (and) fundamentals,” Philbin said. “Right now, we are getting him situated on concepts and schemes, the teaching of that, and then the fundamentals . … Obviously, there’s got to be a point in time where he’s got to go out there and feel it for himself, do it for himself, make a couple of mistakes, learn from them, and move forward as a player.”
How long that takes remains to be seen. At least Soliai said Jordan only has to be on the receiving end of hazing for the first two weeks of camp. After that, he’s free to change his hairstyle if his mother doesn’t like it.