Former Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga still isn’t practicing with his new Dolphins teammates and now we know why. He has a hamstring injury.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase confirmed as much on Thursday, when Maualuga spent yet another day working out on his own, doing mostly conditioning drills.
“That kind of came up last week when we were ending the week of practice,” Gase told reporters in Oxnard, California, where the team is preparing for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. “We had a little setback.’’
It’s just the latest in a string of them for the Dolphins, who signed Maualuga as the expected replacement for rookie Raekwon McMillan, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on the first play of the preseason.
As soon as Maualuga arrived in Miami, though, the Dolphins had to start making other plans because they quickly learned that the former Bengals standout was overweight and out shape.
Maualuga has been working to get his weight down and regain his conditioning for a couple of weeks but the Dolphins have yet to say whether he’s achieved that goal.
They’re also not saying just yet whether he’s been ruled out for Sunday’s game but the likelihood is that special teams standout Mike Hull will get the starting nod at middle linebacker.
Just when Maualuga might be ready to play remains a mystery but Gase made it clear that he remains a big part of their plans for this season and that the team is thinking long-term, not short term wit him.
“We’re going to keep working on him, strengthening him, getting him ready,’’ Gase said. “We’re looking at this as duration. We’ve got a long ways to do. We’ve got a couple new guys at that position right now so we’re trying to get everybody caught up to speed as fast as possible.’’
On the positive side of the injury report, running back Jay Ajayi, who has been battling a sore knee, was back at practice again on Thursday after testing the knee in Wednesday’s workout.