The Miami Dolphins have suspended starting offensive guard Richie Incognito for an undisclosed timetable.
In a statement released late Sunday night the team claims Incognito, a starter for the Dolphins since 2010, is being suspended for "conduct detrimental to the team." The suspension is related to Jonathan Martin's recent absence from the team.
Incognito allegedly was involved in behavior that made Martin feel he was in a difficult work place environment. Martin, a 2012 second-round pick, left the team last Monday after members of the offensive line pulled a lunch room prank on him, leaving the table upon his arrival.
Martin's representatives claim Incognito's behavior included verbal abuse, and threats from Incognito via voice-mail and text messages. They have submitted proof of these allegations to the team.
Fox Sports claims sources from Martin's camp claim to have "racially charged" threats and messages from Incognito.
"We believe in maintaining a culture of respect for one another and as a result we believe this decision is in the best interest of the organization at this time," the team's statement read. "As we noted earlier, we reached out to the NFL to conduct an objective and thorough review. We will continue to work with the league on this matter."
The Dolphins have reached out to the NFL seeking an objective and thorough review on the culture of the team, which apparently includes a lengthy history of hazing rookies, which could violate the league's personal conduct policies.
ESPN.com reported Martin contributed $15,000 toward a trip taken by a group of Dolphins players to Las Vegas even though he didn't go. The report said Martin gave the money to Incognito because he feared repercussions if he didn't contribute.
Martin, who began the season as the Dolphins' starting left tackle but was moved to right tackle two weeks ago, has not returned to the team. The Dolphins, which faces Tampa Bay on Monday night, must decide whether to carry him on the 53-man roster, or place him on the reserve/non-football injury list. There is no timetable for his return.
Incognito, a 2012 Pro Bowl selection, will likely be replaced by Nate Garner, a six-year veteran who has filled in as a starter at tackle and guard throughout his career. Garner replaced Incognito during Thursday night's win over the Bengals because Incognito suffered a neck injury in the second quarter. The Dolphins could promote Jason Weaver and Sam Brenner up from the practice squad to fill the voids.
Tyson Clabo replaced Martin, returning the spot he started the season's first six games at.
Incognito, who is one of the six members of Miami's leadership counsel, is playing on the final year of a three-year, $13 million contract he signed in 2011.Copyright © 2015, CT Now