One of the most curious things we witnessed last season was the uncanny run of good health for the Miami Dolphins, with few players showing up on the weekly injury report, despite the widely-accepted reality that every team will have multiple players who have some sort of bruise or strain or sprain that meets the official definition of “probable” (i.e., virtual certainty to be available for normal duty).
This year, the eyebrow-raising has begun even earlier.
As Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald recently pointed out, Dolphins linebacker Matt Roth failed the camp-opening conditioning test because, according to the team, he was “feeling under the weather.”
The only problem? Agent Drew Rosenhaus has publicly said that Roth has a groin injury, and that Roth was expected to have more testing on the condition on Monday.
But coach Tony Sparano claimed that he had no knowledge of any groin injury. “I believe Matt Roth when he’s telling you he’s sick,” Sparano said Monday, per Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post. “This groin thing,
it’s the first I’ve heard it came up, and we’re going to investigate
it, but I’ve been told it’s an illness.”
So what’s going on here? The easy explanation, given the team’s recent history, is that they’re trying to conceal the fact that the groin that bothered Roth “much of last season” (even though his name never appeared on any injury report last season — yeah, I just looked at every freaking one of them) and that ultimately required offseason surgery still isn’t back to 100 percent.
But there’s another possibility that we’d be remiss not to point out.
Consider this Rosenhaus tweet from May: “Matt Roth is also in the last year of his contract and would like to
sign a long term extension with the Dolphins before the season.”
Roth still hasn’t gotten that extension. So in lieu of holding out and risking daily fines in the neighborhood of $17,000, Roth possibly showed up and claimed he wasn’t able to perform.
And Roth and Rosenhaus possibly didn’t have their stories straight as to the reason the player was providing to the team as to why he couldn’t practice yet.
At this point, we don’t know what the truth on this one is. But it’s got the potential to become pretty damn interesting.