Top Dolphins pick Jordan misses 1st practice
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Already behind in preparations for his first NFL season, Miami Dolphins top draft pick Dion Jordan sat out the first training camp practice Sunday, and declined to predict when he might take the field.
The defensive end and linebacker from Oregon wore uniform No. 95 but watched from the sideline because his surgically repaired right shoulder has not fully healed. He was placed on the non-football injury list.
“It’s really frustrating to not be out there,” Jordan said, “but I understand my health is the main concern.”
Jordan can join the active roster at any time before the regular season. If he isn’t activated by then, he must miss the first six weeks of the season.
The third overall pick in the draft, Jordan signed a $20.6 million, four-year contract Saturday that included a $13.3 million signing bonus. He has been in South Florida for the past two months working out with teammates, but sat out all of the Dolphins’ offseason practices.
Coach Joe Philbin declined to discuss Jordan’s status but said he’s not concerned about the rookie falling behind. Jordan said he was told in the past couple of days he would be placed on the NFI list.
“Coach and the people in the training room decided it was best for me,” he said. “I want to be able to have a good career, a long career. I’m going to do what I have to do right now to make sure that’s possible.”
Jordan, who totaled 14½ career sacks at Oregon, missed playing time last season because of a torn labrum and underwent surgery in February. That didn’t deter the Dolphins from trading up nine spot to make him the first defensive player selected in the draft.
They’ll need the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Jordan on the field before they can determine his role. He wasn’t an every-down player at Oregon, and while he’s expected to help Miami immediately as a pass-rush specialist, it’s unclear whether he’s better suited to play linebacker or end.
Jordan’s one of 44 new players on the 90-man roster, and at least seven are projected to win starting jobs. The Dolphins were busy in free agency, and they expect several rookies — led by Jordan — to make significant contributions toward ending a streak of four consecutive losing seasons.
“It’s a good group,” second-year coach Philbin said. “There are some good pieces to work with. This is the beginning.”
• Pouncey won’t discuss ‘Free Hernandez’ cap
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey declined to join twin brother Maurkice in apologizing for wearing a baseball cap that supported former college teammate Aaron Hernandez, who has been charged with murder.
The Pounceys were photographed during their recent birthday party in Miami wearing caps that read “Free Hernandez.”
Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, played with the Pounceys at the University of Florida in 2007-09. Hernandez is charged with murder in Massachusetts and has pleaded not guilty.
Following the Dolphins’ first training camp practice Sunday, Mike Pouncey said he didn’t want to discuss his cap.
“I’m just here to focus on football,” he said. Later he added, “We get paid a lot of money to act a certain way, and that’s the way we should be acting.”
Miami coach Joe Philbin declined to disclose what he said to Pouncey about the cap.
“I will tell you that it’s important for every member of this organization — player, coach — to represent the Miami Dolphins in a first-class manner,” Philbin said.
Maurkice Pouncey, an All-Pro center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, said last week on his Twitter account that he understood the seriousness of the situation involving Hernandez and regretted making light of it.
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