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Dolphins Suh out of Pro Bowl with injury that raises questions

Roy Cummings

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Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has pulled himself out of next week’s Pro Bowl game in Orlando and the reason for his pull-out is not good.

Suh, who recorded 72 tackles, five sacks and 11 tackles for loss this year, will miss the game because he recently had what has been described by the NFL as “a minor medical procedure,” though on what the league did not say.

What’s interesting is that in the months, not weeks, but months, leading up to the Dolphins playoff game against the Steelers two weeks ago, Suh was never listed on the team’s injury report.

This marks the second time this week that an NFL player has been found to have played injured (not just hurt, but injured) despite not being listed on his team’s injury report.

Earlier in the week Seahawks coach Peter Carroll revealed that cornerback Richard Sherman spent most of December and the playoffs playing with an MCL knee injury of some nature.

The NFL is said to frown on such instances. It supposedly requires teams to be as forthcoming as possible about injuries, but it seems the standards may be slipping. There are reports that the league may impose a loss of draft pick penalty on the Seahawks for hiding Sherman’s injury, if they truly were.

Toward that end, there’s reason to believe that this minor medical procedure could become a big problem. After all, that’s what happened to Buccaneers left guard J.R. Sweezy this past season.

Sweezy had what the Bucs referred to as “a minor medical procedure on his back” early last offseason, but he never recovered in time to play a down for the Bucs in 2016.

Could Suh suffer in a similar manner? It’s certainly possible. After all, teams are doing a much better job these days of hiding not just the severity of injuries but the injuries themselves.

But, just like in the Sherman situation, it’s a prominent player who was just recently playing in a playoff game and the NFL isn’t just going to to dismiss it.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.