This is the week for the Miami Dolphins the place all their worlds collide.
Owner Steve Ross is completed along with his suspension as of Monday. Ex-coach Brian Flores, whose allegations in opposition to his former workforce sparked the penalty, returns to South Florida as Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach in prime time on Sunday evening.
The Dolphins’ undefeated 1972 workforce is being celebrated for its fiftieth anniversary. The present Dolphins, who seemed sturdy in beginning 3-0, have gone 0-3 since, the most recent loss being Sunday’s 24-16 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings.
It all comes collectively as Miami (3-3) hosts Pittsburgh (2-4) on NBC’s nationwide stage in an 8:20 p.m. kickoff at Hard Rock Stadium, the Dolphins’ first “Sunday Night Football” look since a 2017 house loss to the Oakland Raiders.
Flores determined he was coming after Ross, the Dolphins and the NFL as an entire after he was surprisingly fired by Miami the Monday following the conclusion to the 2021 season final January. He filed a class-action lawsuit alleging racist hiring and retention practices round Black coaches.
Among claims in his lawsuit, Flores mentioned Ross supplied him monetary incentive to tank, or lose video games purposely to enhance draft positioning, and pressured him to take part in tampering for a participant that had not but turn into a free agent, which he didn’t title however was quarterback Tom Brady.
A six-month NFL investigation, led by former U.S. Attorney and SEC Chair Mary Jo White, concluded that the Dolphins didn’t deliberately lose video games within the 2019 season and any $100,000 provide to take action that Flores claims was not meant to be taken as a critical provide. On the tampering entrance, nevertheless, the NFL deemed that Miami had “impermissible communications” with Brady within the 2019-20 season and once more in 2021. It additionally mentioned the Dolphins did the identical with New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton’s agent, Don Yee.
The NFL took away the Dolphins’ 2023 first-round draft decide and 2024 third-round choice, fined Ross $1.5 million and suspended him via Oct. 17 (Monday).
According to the NFL’s launch on Aug. 2: “During this period, he may not be present at the Dolphins’ facility and may not represent the club at any team or NFL event. He may not attend any League meeting prior to the Annual Meeting in 2023, is removed from all League committees indefinitely.”
A league spokesperson informed the South Florida Sun Sentinel that Ross was not banned from attending video games throughout that point.
Flores was fired after going 24-25 in three seasons main the Dolphins, however Ross cited his communication and collaboration as the rationale for the transfer.
In the midst of that reunion of a disconcerting period in Miami’s franchise historical past, the Dolphins shall be celebrating a time that was unblemished.
Members of the 1972 “perfect” workforce, which went 17-0 en path to the franchise’s first of two Super Bowls, shall be honored throughout pregame and halftime ceremonies in opposition to the Steelers. The present Dolphins will put on throwback jerseys with a commemorative patch.
The Dolphins enter 3-3. Some followers would possibly suppose they may very well be 6-0 if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa hadn’t suffered a concussion. Conversely, different followers would possibly suppose they may very well be 1-5 if a few performs had gone in a different way in wins over the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills.
Miami has been decimated by accidents within the three-game dropping streak. Quarterbacks. Cornerbacks. Offensive tackles.
The hope is these issues are behind the Dolphins. Tagovailoa is in line to return after he cleared concussion protocol Saturday, following the scary Sept. 29 head harm that had him taken off the sphere in a stretcher.
Backup quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson, who additionally couldn’t end their respective begins the previous two weeks, needed to play behind an offensive line bookended by backup tackles: Greg Little and Brandon Shell.
Coach Mike McDaniel mentioned starters Terron Armstead and Austin Jackson have been near returning in opposition to the Vikings. Maybe they’ll be prepared in opposition to the Steelers.
Although the Dolphins acquired All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard again into the lineup in opposition to Minnesota, Nik Needham went down with a torn Achilles on Sunday, his season now over. The Dolphins nonetheless have fellow cornerback Byron Jones on the physically-unable-to-perform checklist for decrease left leg surgical procedure within the offseason, upstart undrafted rookie Kader Kohou missed Sunday’s sport with an indirect harm and Keion Crossen exited the sport with a knee ailment. Third-year cornerback Noah Igbinoghene is being counted on, and particular teamer Justin Bethel is being requested to play protection for the primary time this season.
The Dolphins are 3-3 in opposition to probably the most difficult a part of their schedule, particularly with the final two opponents, the Jets and Vikings, surprisingly 4-2 and 5-1, respectvely.
That takes a pointy flip with the upcoming slate: vs. Steelers (2-4), at Lions (1-4), at Bears (2-4) vs. Browns (2-4) and, after the bye week, vs. Texans (1-3-1).