The suspension of Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons has ended, but the mystery lingers.
Over the weekend, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported that Timmons showed up unannounced at Steelers practice on the Friday prior to Week One. Miami’s game already had been scrapped due to Hurricane Irma, and the Steelers let Timmons enter the team facility and watch some of practice from the sidelines.
La Canfora, who also reported that Timmons’ suspension would last beyond Week Three and that he may never again play for the Dolphins, wrote that “most players and team officials had no idea” that Timmons would be visiting the team, but that one source said Timmons informed “a few coaches” of his desire to visit the team. Coach Mike Tomlin reportedly was aware of the situation.
A Dolphins spokesman tells PFT that the team was not aware of the situation before the report emerged. The league’s tampering policy doesn’t expressly address situations like this, stating only that a team cannot permit a player under contract with another team to “use” its facilities, including the weight room, training facilities, practice fields, running tracks, etc. So if Timmons, for example, got a workout in at the Steelers’ facility, the Steelers would have technically violated the rules.
Even if the Dolphins don’t cry foul, the situation is sufficiently unusual and potentially close to the line to make a league-office investigation into the situation reasonable and justified — especially since Timmons reportedly has told former teammates that he’d like to be back with the Steelers.