On this, the first official work day since he was suspended indefinitely for going AWOL last weekend, Lawrence Timmons was not in the house at the Miami Dolphins training facility in nearby Davie on Wednesday.
In-house, though, is where Dolphins coach Adam Gase plans to keep all the information he has regarding the veteran linebacker and any bid he may be making to gain reinstatement to the team.
As you might expect, Gase was asked numerous times on Wednesday for details regarding the team’s plans for Timmons, but he answered most of them by saying he plans to keep “everything in house.’’
The only divergence he made from that approach came when Gase said he would “decide later’’ whether he would eventually allow Timmons to return to the team, adding that there is room for forgiveness in this matter.
“I think every situation’s different and I would say that you can be forgiven if the right steps are taken,’’ Gase said.
So there you have it. A path to reinstatement does exist for Timmons, and the guess here is that Timmons will be allowed to travel that path as long as he really wants to, which is a very important factor in all this.
It seems that part of what the Dolphins are now trying to figure out is just how much football still matters to a player who is now in his 11th year in the league but first outside of Pittsburgh, which may still be the center of Timmons world.
If we are to believe what little we’ve learned about Timmons and his reasons for leaving the Dolphins on Saturday night and attempting to board a plane back to Pennsylvania, we know that he has a family there.
At the very least he has a child there, and something involving that child created a situation last weekend in which Timmons felt it was more important to be with that child than with his teammates.
You can’t blame a man for that, but if the situation is one that does not have a short-term solution it’s possible we have seen the last of Timmons not just in a Dolphins uniform but in an NFL uniform.
What’s more likely, though, is that Timmons – hopefully with the help of the Dolphins if it’s needed – will soon find a solution to the problem that allows him to return to and focus on football again.
That would probably be the best outcome for all involved, the child included, and while Gase seems willing to give Timmons the time he needs to reach that outcome, it’s clear Gase wants Timmons to go about finding it the right way.
That may mean keeping the Dolphins up to speed on everything he’s doing to find that solution, including letting them know of his whereabouts throughout the search and its progress.
That may seem a bit much, but Timmons has already made one wrong move in this matter. He failed to let the Dolphins know the reason he was leaving the team and where he was headed, which is all he probably had to do to avoid turning this matter into the mushroom cloud it’s become.
One more mistake like that as he walks along this path to redemption that’s been laid out for him will likely result in the Dolphins washing their hands of Timmons.
As it stands now, though, Timmons still has a chance to be a part of the 2017 Dolphins. What we’re going to find out over the course of the next few weeks is how badly he wants to be a part of the 2017 Dolphins.