Miami Dolphins players have been advised they’ll meet this week with the NFL special investigator looking into the harassment case involving tackle Jonathan Martin and guard Richie Incognito.
Players expect to be interviewed beginning Monday, and the visit by attorney Ted Wells might last several days. That means further distractions for a team trying to keep its season from derailing.
The Dolphins (5-5) beat San Diego 20-16 on Sunday to remain in the race for an AFC wild-card berth and cap an eventful week.
”There’s nothing better than a win,” tackle Tyson Clabo said.
The visit by Wells will come as the Dolphins prepare to play host to Carolina on Sunday.
”We got talked to about the interview process we are about to go through,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. ”We are going to do our interviews, be participants in the investigation and get ready for the game. At the end of the day, (the interview) is secondary. We have to do it. We have to provide the information we know, but hopefully that is a short 15-minute interview. And then the rest of the week is all football.”
Some interviews are likely to take longer. Martin spent nearly seven hours talking with Wells on Friday in New York about his claims of his harassment by teammates, including Incognito.
Tannehill said he believes everyone on the team will be interviewed.
Martin, a second-year pro, suddenly left the team three weeks ago and has been undergoing counseling for emotional issues. Incognito was suspended and filed a grievance last week against the Dolphins seeking to rejoin the team.
”No one could have predicted all these things that happened,” cornerback Brent Grimes said. ”We’ve just got to keep playing hard and not pay any attention to any distractions that might be out there.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has formed two committees to study the team’s locker room culture, and concedes changes are needed. Wells will determine the role of coach Joe Philbin, his staff and Miami management in the case, and his report will be made public.
The Dolphins won with a makeshift offensive line Sunday, including replacements for Martin and Incognito. Despite the distractions related to the unfolding scandal, they’re 2-1 since Martin left the team.
”What distractions?” guard John Jerry said. ”We’ve got tunnel vision. We only listen to what coach Philbin says. All we can do is focus on what we need to do. We don’t pay any attention to what anybody else is saying.”
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