More details have come out concerning Jonathan Martin's absence from the Miami Dolphins, and they don't reflect well on the team. A Fox Sports report released Thursday evening described an "abusive environment" created by Martin's teammates, who reportedly bullied and teased Martin since the offensive lineman joined the team as a second round draft pick in 2012.
Perhaps more worrying, it appears that the Dolphins' front office was aware of the abuse.
It's believed the Dolphins were aware that the cruel actions of some teammates toward Martin went well beyond the customary hazing sometimes given to NFL rookies and youngsters, the source said. Martin experienced some of that when the Dolphins appeared on the 2012 season of HBO's Hard Knocks.
There is still no word yet when, or if, Martin will return to the Dolphins. There is a chance that the organization will put him on the non-football injury list, which would open up a roster spot and allow the Dolphins to activate Martin when he is ready to rejoin the team.
Aldon Smith has been activated from the non-football injury list by the San Francisco 49ers. The outside linebacker has reportedly finished his stint in rehab after being arrest for a DUI this past September. He will be eligible to play after the Niners' Week 9 bye, but whether Smith suits up in Week 10 remains to be seen.
Smith could be held back from the field by the 49ers or by the NFL, who have yet to take any disciplinary measures against him. Smith still has several off-field obligations to take care of to put himself back in good standing with the law, not to mention the 49ers and the league. He has two November court dates set, one for his misdemeanor DUI and another for felony weapons charges.
The Cincinnati Bengals had a disastrous Thursday night. Not only did they lose in overtime to the Miami Dolphins, but they lost Geno Atkins to a knee injury. The injury is believed to be a torn ACL and, pending the results of an MRI, it appears the Atkins is out for the season.
Atkins was named All-Pro in 2011 and 2012, and is regarded as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL today. He is a gifted pass rusher from a position that sometimes struggles to get to the quarterback. Through eight games this season, Atkins has six sacks. He will likely be replaced by Devon Still and Brandon Thompson.
Percy Harvin is back practicing with the Seattle Seahawks, but he has yet to be cleared to play. He will sit out Week 9 when the Seahawks host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to continue his recovery from offseason hip surgery.
There was speculation that he was set to return for Monday night's game against the St. Louis Rams, but his hip reportedly flared up prior to kickoff. After the setback, expect the Seahawks to remain cautious with the wideout, even if the team is desperate for wide receiver depth. Sidney Rice was placed on injured reserve earlier this week after suffering a torn ACL.
Albert Haynesworth went on Tennessee Sports Radio earlier this week and said some not-so nice things about Mike Shanahan, including that the Washington Redskins head coach was "conniving" and holding the team back from achieving more.
Shanahan didn't suffer the criticism quietly. When asked for comment, he responded, "the only people I haven't gotten along with as a coach is someone who is lazy." For the uninitiated, Haynesworth became a notorious figure in Washington after signing a $100 million contract then failing to make much of an impact on the field. He struggled with conditioning throughout his two seasons, and failed to adjust to a 3-4 defensive scheme.
Giovani Bernard's last carry in Thursday night's game was a scintillating, weaving 35-yards touchdown run that tied the game at 17 apiece in the second half. The Bengals running back then left the game with an apparent rib injury. Fortunately for Bengals fans, it appears that Bernard will be okay going forward.
Bernard may be making a case for Rookie of the Year honors. Through nine games, he has 81 carries for 361 yards rushing and four touchdowns, adding 30 receptions for 267 yards and another two touchdowns.