Ex-Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons suspended indefinitely by Dolphins after going AWOL
The Miami Dolphins suspended Lawrence Timmons indefinitely after his puzzling disappearance from the team Saturday ahead of Sunday's 19-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Timmons had spent his previous 10 seasons in the NFL establishing himself as a leader off the field with the Steelers and a pillar of consistency on it. But his disappearance from the team hotel Saturday forced the team to contact police and file a missing person's report, according to a source.
The Dolphins played Sunday's game with Chase Allen, an undrafted rookie, as a starter.
Timmons' mysterious unexcused absence not only ended a streak of starting 101 consecutive games, but it also put his future with his new team in jeopardy.
When the Dolphins were unable to locate Timmons on Saturday night, the team filed a missing person's report with police in Los Angeles, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the Sun Sentinel. According to TMZ, police found Timmons at LAX early Sunday morning getting ready to board a flight to Pennsylvania to go see family.
ESPN reported the linebacker was scheduled to meet with doctors Monday.
The Dolphins won't have to pay Timmons, who is slated to make $6 million this season, during his suspension.
The decision to suspend Timmons came from coach Adam Gase, who sought more clarity from Timmons on Monday before making a decision on his status.
Just last week, Gase spoke of Timmons' quiet leadership in the locker room.
“He doesn't say a whole bunch, but the way he operates and the way he goes about his business, I think guys respect that and understand why he's been in the league so long and why he's been so successful,” Gase said last Thursday.
Asked about his level of tolerance when his rules, which are to play hard and don't be late, are violated, Gase said: “What do you think? I've got two rules. It's not hard.”
Sunday was supposed to be Timmons' regular-season debut with the Dolphins after signing a two-year, $12 million contract in March. The former Florida State standout, who is originally from Florence, S.C., had played in 120 consecutive games with the Steelers before becoming a free agent this offseason.
Timmons hopes to rejoin the Dolphins this week, league sources told the Sun Sentinel, but it's unclear if he'll be welcomed back. Miami might be forced to play Sunday's game against the New York Jets with Allen as the starting strong side linebacker.