Jonathan Martin sat out Thursday night for the Miami Dolphins after leaving the team early in the week. Recent reports describe an "abusive environment" in which Martin was reportedly teased and bullied by teammates since joining the team as a rookie in 2012. Early in the week, Martin reportedly stormed out of the team cafeteria after teammates got up and left a table after inviting Martin to sit with them.
However, Martin's mates along the offensive line deny that they went too far, according to the Palm Beach Post. Reserve guard Nate Garner said that the team only did "normal stuff," and other players added that Martin didn't suffer abuse beyond what usually goes on in the locker room. Martin apparently did not see things the same way.
Garner stuck up for Martin, saying "he's a great dude." Right tackle Tyson Clabo said that he wants Martin to rejoin the team.
"I want him to come back to work," Clabo said. "He's a talented young football player."
"I can't say what he's feeling. I know if and when he wants to come back that I will be there to shake his hand."
When or if Martin returns remains to be seen. He could ultimately be placed on the non-football injury list, which would allow the Dolphins to find another played to occupy Martin's spot on the roster while he spends the time he needs apart from the team.
Martin began the season as the team's starting left tackle, but was displaced to the right side of the line after the Dolphins traded for Bryant McKinnie in late October. Martin struggled, grading as the 60th-best offensive tackle out of 72 qualifying players according to Pro Football Focus.