Richie Incognito hearing postponed to accommodate independent investigation

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Richie Incognito was hoping to be reinstated for Week 12, but had his grievance hearing postponed Thursday to accommodate Ted Wells' independent investigation into allegations of bullying in the Dolphins' locker room.

Richie Incognito's grievance hearing, originally set for Thursday, has been postponed to allow NFL investigator Ted Wells to finish his independent investigation, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Incognito is hoping to overturn the indefinite suspension he received from the Miami Dolphins amid allegations of harassment towards teammate Jonathan Martin and others.

Incognito released a statement, saying that he agreed with the decision to postpone the hearing:

"I have agreed to postpone my expedited arbitration hearing until after the investigation by Ted Wells is complete. I will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation with a goal of resuming my career with the Miami Dolphins at the conclusion of this investigation. I love my teammates and hope we can put this distraction behind us soon."

Incognito was hoping for an expedited hearing, so that he could earn back lost wages and be reinstated for the Dolphins' game against the Carolina Panthers this Sunday. Unless the hearing takes place Friday, however, Incognito will likely miss another game. An "indefinite" team suspension can only last up to four games per the collective bargaining agreement, though the NFL could extend that suspension depending on the results of Wells' investigation.

If the NFL decides that no further suspension is necessary, Incognito will return to the Dolphins after Week 13, at which point the team will have to decide whether to keep the offensive guard, or release him. In their statement, the Dolphins said that Incognito will meet with Wells to discuss the allegations.

Incognito reportedly sent racist and threatening voicemails and texts to Martin, though Incognito has maintained that the two had a close relationship, and that the messages, in context, were meant to be taken as jokes. He also reportedly made racist comments towards a Dolphins staffer, and made sexual jokes about the staff member's wife.

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