DAVIE, Fla. -- It’s a big week for the Miami Dolphins organization in so many ways.
For starters, Miami (5-5) put itself back in the playoff hunt with a big win Sunday over the San Diego Chargers. The Dolphins are just a tiebreaker behind the AFC East rival New York Jets (5-5) with six games remaining, and those two teams still play each other twice in December. Miami will prepare this week for a red-hot Carolina Panthers team that has won five straight games.
Second, the NFL's investigation team is coming to town and will ask all the tough questions regarding the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito bullying scandal. Martin met with lead investigator Ted Wells for seven hours last week and provided plenty of material. Miami’s coaches, players and front office will be asked about the situation by the NFL. Based on the findings, it could have major ramifications throughout the organization.
Will the Dolphins allow this huge distraction to impact preparation for their next big game against the Panthers?
“You can’t let it [bother you]. You really can’t,” Dolphins defensive tackle Jared Odrick said of the investigation. “You have to focus on what’s important as a professional and as a player and focus on your job. There’s always going to be distractions. There’s always distractions as a football player, and this is another one.”
The Dolphins have informed their players to be prepared to answer questions. The organization said it would be fully cooperative with the NFL during this fact-finding period.
Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said he will meet with the NFL on Tuesday. Many of the players are meeting with Wells on Monday.
“Hopefully, most of what the players have to do will be taken care of today and get that knocked out,” Sherman said. “I’m hopeful that’s happening, but I’m really not sure.”
This will be a unique week not like any other with the Dolphins this season. It will be up to the coaching staff to keep everyone organized and the players focused.
“Honestly, we’ve been told that they’re going to do everything they can to not disrupt the normal flow of the week,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “So how that all comes together, I’m not exactly sure. I’m not involved with that organization in terms of the structure. I don’t think it’s going to have much of an impact.”