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Timmons has no answers in return to Dolphins

courtesy: sun-sentinel

Miami Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons spoke Wednesday, one day after being reinstated to the team, and the first thing he did was apologize to fans and the organization for going AWOL almost two weeks ago.

But Timmons, who played 10 years in Pittsburgh before signing with Miami in the offseason, didn’t shed any light on the reason he left the team without telling anyone, the reason he returned, or whether the report he attended a Steelers practice after Miami’s game against Tampa Bay was postponed due to Hurricane Irma was accurate.

In fact, about the only thing Timmons said was he’s happy to be a Miami Dolphin and happy to be here. He said that repeatedly.

“I just want to say sorry to all the fans, the Miami Dolphins, to everyone,” Timmons said in his opening remark. “Just happy to be back here. Sorry to the organization. I’m just happy to be a Miami Dolphin again and I just want to play football and be the best I can.”

Earlier in the day, coach Adam Gase said Timmons could “possibly” play Sunday against New Orleans in London, and said Timmons’ reinstatement had nothing to do with wins or losses.

That was more information than Timmons offered during his time behind the podium, which amounted to less than three minutes.

Timmons was asked what he said to his teammates upon his return.

“I’m just happy to be here, happy to put back on these pads, and show everyone what I can do,” he said.

Timmons was asked what happened that made him leave the team.

“I’m just happy to be a Miami Dolphin,” he said.

He was asked whether he could offer assurances this was a one-time thing and wouldn’t be repeated.

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“Like I said earlier, I’m happy to be a Miami Dolphin and play football and be here,” he said.

He was asked whether it was tough to return to the field after what amounts to a two-week layoff.

“I’m just a football player, Miami Dolphins,” he said. “Like I said, I apologize to the organization. I didn’t want to be a distraction. I’m just simple. I’m a football player, I’m happy to be here.”

Gase said it wasn’t a tough decision to reinstate Timmons after he served a one-game suspension.

“[I] just felt good about where we were at with him,” Gase said.

Gase said last week that players who commit transgressions can be forgiven if the “right steps” are taken. Gase didn’t elaborate on what steps Timmons took to get reinstated.

“That’s something that I’m just keeping in-house right now,” he said. “[We] worked through a couple of things, and L.T. handled the business he needed to handle. I’m glad he’s back.”

Teammates didn’t say whether Timmons apologized. And didn’t seem to care.

“I don’t think there’s necessarily an apology needed, at this particular point in time, in my personal opinion,” defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said.

Running back Jay Ajayi, who was left home for last year’s opener at Seattle after he reportedly reacted poorly upon hearing he wouldn’t start, was asked whether he got an explanation from Timmons on his disappearance.

“No,” Ajayi replied. “Don’t need one.”

Quarterback Jay Cutler’s thought went along those same lines.

“He’s well-liked in the locker room so guys are happy to see him back out there,” Cutler said.

Timmons left the team without explanation on Saturday, Sept. 16, the night before the opener at the Los Angeles Chargers, a 19-17 victory by the Dolphins. Timmons was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 19, two days after the game, and remained that way through Sunday’s 20-6 loss at the New York Jets and until Tuesday, when he was reinstated after officially serving a one-game suspension.

Chase Allen, an undrafted rookie from Southern Illinois, has served as the starting strongside linebacker in Timmons’ absence. It’s unclear whether Timmons, who has five consecutive 100-tackle seasons, would step immediately back into a starting role even if he does play Sunday against the Saints.

But the review of his practice on Wednesday seemed positive.

“He was out there flying around like he normally is, making plays and being a big part of this defense,” Suh said.

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