Richie Incognito's non-football injury grievance hearing against the Miami Dolphins, scheduled for Thursday, was postponed until Ted Wells finishes his independent investigation for the NFL into the team's bullying scandal, the player and team announced jointly Thursday.
Although the hearing is in limbo, it is likely to be held after Dec. 2, the date by which the Dolphins must decide to reinstate or release Incognito. Wells is expected to wrap up his interviews with members of the Dolphins organization by the end of this week.
Wells met with Incognito until 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday and was set to continue the interview Friday morning, a league source told ESPN NFL Adam Schefter.
"I have agreed to postpone my expedited arbitration hearing until after the investigation by Ted Wells is complete," a statement released on Incognito's behalf read. "I will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation with a goal of resuming my career with the Miami Dolphins at the conclusion of this investigation. I love my teammates and hope we can put this distraction behind us soon."
Incognito was suspended indefinitely Nov. 3 for conduct detrimental to the team for his role in the alleged harassment of fellow lineman Jonathan Martin, who left the team Oct. 28. The NFL is investigating the workplace culture of the Dolphins and has said it will make its report public.
The Dolphins requested earlier this week that Incognito's hearing be delayed while the franchise cooperated with Wells' investigation.
Incognito's complaint alleges that the Dolphins have yet to provide specific examples of the detrimental conduct cited when he was suspended indefinitely, sources have told ESPN Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen. Those sources say the team acknowledged in a notification letter that, under the collective bargaining agreement, Incognito's suspension could not exceed a maximum of four weeks plus one additional game check.
Incognito is seeking reinstatement to the active roster and recovery of lost wages that could reach $1,176,470.59 under terms of the maximum team penalty.
A report in the National Football Post this week alleged that Incognito and at least one other Dolphins player mocked the ethnic background of a team staff member and made crude jokes about the man's wife.
Sources tell ESPN that both the NFL and the Dolphins are aware of the allegations.
According to the report, Incognito would sometimes dress in garb from the staff member's culture and make profane jokes about that culture, making the staff member uncomfortable.
On Wednesday, center Mike Pouncey, one of Incognito's closest friends on the team, said he has communicated and spent time with Incognito since Martin's allegations of abuse became public.
Pouncey even said the two watched the Dolphins' 20-16 victory over the San Diego Chargers together last weekend. Incognito is still hopeful to rejoin the Dolphins, according to Pouncey, who missed the game due to illness.
ESPN.com Dolphins reporter James Walker and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter contributed to this report.