James Walker | ESPN.com
MIAMI — With Jonathan Martin the subject of reported bullying from some Miami teammates, various Dolphins players rallied early Friday around the inactive tackle, who is receiving professional assistance for emotional issues.
The Miami coaching staff declined to provide much clarity following the team’s 22-20 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but several members of the team lined up to express their verbal support for the 24-year-old Martin early Friday morning.
“Obviously, we care about J-Mart [Martin] a lot; we just want him to be alright,” said Dolphins right tackle Tyson Clabo, who replaced Martin in the starting lineup against the Bengals. “I want him to come back to work. He’s a talented, young football player. I can’t say what he’s feeling. But I know if and when he wants to come back, I will be there to shake his hand.”
Multiple sources told ESPN.com this week that teammates were ribbing Martin in the lunch room Monday, which caused Martin to become very angry and leave the team. Fox Sports also reported Thursday that Martin was the subject of persistent bullying and teasing within the locker room.
Several teammates early Friday also hinted that Martin is dealing with stress and personal issues.
“He just had some things going on, said Dolphins tailback Lamar Miller. “But as a team we just continued to stay focused.”
Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin read a prepared statement when asked about Martin during his post-game press conference. He declined to explain the situation any further.
“What I’d like to say in regards to Jonathan, any player with an injury or illness, our concern is for the health of the individual,” Philbin said. “In respect to Jonathan, he’s been excused with a non-football illness. Our concern and support are with him. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Several members of the Dolphins said Martin would be welcomed back to the team. But it’s unknown at this point when Martin plans to return.
Clabo was asked if he would reach out to Martin in the next several days.
“I haven’t yet,” Clabo explained. “I’m just trying to let him figure out whatever he’s trying to figure out. It’s hard to say what’s going on in somebody’s mind.”
- A Temple graduate and Hyattsville, Md., native who lives in Miami
- Joined ESPN in 2008