Something dramatic clearly happened, leading to a veteran entering his 11th season in the league, with 101 straight starts under his belt - the longest active streak for a linebacker in the NFL - to leave the Miami Dolphins over the weekend and miss the team’s opening game of the year. The Dolphins have said they know where Lawrence Timmons is, but no other statements were made and the Dolphins reacted with undrafted rookie Chase Allen starting in Timmons’ position.
Monday, the questions surrounding Timmons continue to linger.
Where is he? Why is he “angered” so much that he felt like he had to leave the club? Will he be coming back? Will the coaches be accepting of a player who was suddenly missing? Questions everywhere, and no answers yet.
After the game, head coach Adam Gase was asked about Timmons’ absence. He replied, “That was a coach’s decision. I’ll be ready to talk about that tomorrow.”
“I’m not saying anything right now,” Gase added. “I need to figure some things out first before I talk about this.”
The players seem just as confused about the situation as the fans. Miami cornerback Byron Maxwell told the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser after the game, “It was out of the blue. It’s just one of those things. You worry about him, but at the end of the day, you’ve got a job to do. I’ve got an obligation to this team I’ve gotta fulfill, so I can’t be worried about who’s not here. I’m happy if he’s alive, basically. The worst was going through my mind. I think he’s OK. I don’t know what happened.”
Defensive end Andre Branch also weighed in, telling Lieser, “I don’t know all the info, so I can’t speak on it. I hoped everything was good, at the end of the day. I hoped he was good and his health and everything was fine.”
Offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod spoke to the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley about the situation as well, saying, “I really don't know much about the situation. I don't know what happened or why. It got to the point where I just hope he's OK. Of course we want the competitor out there. He left it out there all week in practice. He had a good week of practice. When this happened, I just hope he's OK. You want him to play. He's a leader. He's a hell of player.”
Sunday night, Timmons’ agent Drew Rosenhaus spoke with Steve Shapiro of Channel 7 in Miami, and he did not provide any more fidelity on the situation. “I don’t know,” Rosenhaus said when asked if Timmons would be playing for the Dolphins next week against the New York Jets. “It’s a private matter,’’ he continued. “I’d love to be able to shed some light on it, but I can’t. It’s of a personal nature for Lawrence. When he gets back to Miami and we get together and converse with the Dolphins, then we’ll have a joint statement.”
At this point, question marks are all over Timmons, the Dolphins, and the future of the two together. Eventually, details will come out, but for now, “I don’t know” seems to be the standard.
Update: ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Timmons is “doing much better” and “wants to resume playing immediately.”