Dolphins make Richie go incognito

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Following his controversial departure from the team last week, the Dolphins are expected to place T Jonathan Martin on the NFI (non-football injury) list.

The Martin story took several turns on Sunday, starting with an ass-covering statement from the team, which suggested that claims of bullying were "based on speculation."

At the time, the Stanford alum had not filed an official complaint, but Chris Mortensen attributed that to Martin's reported fear that he'd face retribution from fellow lineman Richie Incognito, the apparent head bully.

Hours later, Martin's representatives contacted the team with allegations of player misconduct, and the team asked the NFL to launch an investigation.

It's being reported that Martin was pressured by Incognito into contributing $15K toward a trip to Las Vegas that Martin did not attend.

According to the Miami Herald, such stories of veterans extracting funds from their junior teammates are quite common, to the extent that one young Dolphins defensive player is reportedly broke as a result.

For his part, Incognito (who is widely considered the league's dirtiest player) attempted to defend his reputation as only an asshole of his caliber can do: he basically challenged Adam Schefter (and the agents who provide his scoops) to a fight.

Late on Sunday night, the Dolphins changed course again, and suspended Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team.

The swiftness of the move - and that it wasn't pending an investigation - suggests there is strong evidence against Incognito.

Indeed, it's now being reported that text messages and voicemails sent from Incognito to Martin were threatening and racist in nature (If anyone is surprised to learn that Incognito is apparently a racist, this happened).

Perhaps worst of all, the Dolphins continue to cover their asses, claiming that Martin's troubles are news to them, even while reports emerge that the second-year lineman had discussed his concerns with head coach Joe Philbin in the spring.

Broncos

John Fox spoke via phone with several Broncos players on Sunday, including David Bruton; a Denver cardiologist speculates that Fox's condition stems from a congenital defect.

Shannon Sharpe says that while he dished out his fair share of teammate abuse, he knew where the line was, and that part of his role as a leader was to help his teammates not feel alienated.

Andrew Brandt expects John Elway and Peyton Manning to provide more leadership than usual in Foxy's absence.

Incredibly, Jeff Legwold avoids mention of Von Miller's fast-twitch muscle fibers in a discussion of the defense's acknowledgement that it has room to improve.

Manning allegedly forwarded Fox a generous gesture upon news of his health condition.

AFC

Houston (2-6) jumped out to a 21-3 halftime lead thanks to the gunslinging QB Case Keenum (who threw for three scores to Andre Johnson and 350 yards), but Indy (6-2) came back for a 27-24 win, which Doug Farrar recaps. The Texans aren't saying much about Gary Kubiak's health, but we'll presumably learn more about that in the coming days.

As tends to happen when the punditry starts piling on players like Tom Brady, New England (7-2) throttled Pittsburgh (2-6), as Brady tossed four touchdown passes in the 55-31 whipping.

The Jets (5-4) continued their bizarre season of alternating wins and losses by upsetting the visiting Saints (6-2) in a 26-20 decision. New Jersey managed just 14 first downs but picked off Drew Brees twice, and Jets kicker Nick Folk remained perfect on the season (on 23 field goal attempts, nearly double Matt Prater's 12)1. Impressively, the Jets' last three wins have come against the Falcons, Patriots, and Saints.

Cleveland (4-5) defeated Baltimore (3-5) for the first time in 12 attempts; Jason Campbell threw three touchdown passes in the 24-18 win. Bold fourth-down decisions from Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski paid off in a big way, just as they did for John Fox and the Broncos against Washington.

Interconference

Chris Johnson ran for 150 yards and two scores to lead Tennessee (4-4) to a 28-21 win over St. Louis (3-6) and their former longtime coach, Jeff Fisher.

NFC

Seattle (8-1) overcame three turnovers and a 21-0 second-quarter deficit to eke out a 27-24 overtime triumph and keep Tampa Bay winless at 0-8.

Carolina (5-3) notched its fourth straight win, this one a 34-10 pummeling of division rival Atlanta (2-6); Cam Newton's run of brilliance ended with two first-half picks, although he did throw for a score and run for another in the winning effort. With the Saints having lost at New Jersey, Carolina is now just a game behind them in the NFCS.

Tony Romo threw a last-minute game-winning touchdown pass to Dwayne Harris as Dallas (5-4) topped Minnesota (1-7) by a 27-23 margin. Keith Goldner considers a difficult fourth-down call the Vikings faced late in the game.

News

The FCC is reportedly taking seriously the idea of eliminating the NFL's ridiculous blackouts.

Jags WR Justin Blackmon will enter rehab after having been suspended by the NFL indefinitely for violation of the substance abuse policy.

Analysis

Andy Benoit, Mike Tanier, Will Brinson, Frank SchwabDon Banks, and John Clayton wrap up the day's action.

Chiefs players largely credit Andy Reid's evenhanded leadership for their incredible turnaround.

Mike Tanier says there's a handful of teams that would be well-served to take some cues from Chip Kelly's Eagles offense.

1 - In no way does this detract from Prater's flawless (in terms of FGs and XPs) season; rather, it's to provide context, as Folk has had far more attempts, and in loads of high-leverage situations (each of the Jets' five wins have come by a single score). Prater has been terrific, but let's not even begin to suggest he's been the league's best kicker.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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