Mike Pouncey says Dolphins won’t turn their backs on Lawrence Timmons

Lawrence Timmons has made a lot of friends in the Miami Dolphins locker room in his short time with the team. If there is a problem in his returning to the lineup following a bizarre disappearance prior to Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, it doesn’t sound like it will come from teammates.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) on the sidelines at Hard Rock Stadium on Aug. 17, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

“I’m sure it’s just a bump in the road for him,” Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said during an early-afternoon media availability on Monday. “I’m sure he wants to be back with the football team and we’ll see how it goes.

“Caught everybody off guard. There weren’t any signs at all…He’s been a great teammate. He’s a great football player and a guy that practices hard all the time. He’s a leader on our football team and you just hate seeing that he’s going through something.”

Timmons was not present for bed check on Saturday night at the Dolphins’ Southern California hotel. TMZ reported that the Dolphins put out a missing-persons report on him and that Timmons was found later at Los Angeles International Airport preparing to board a plan for Pennsylvania.

Coach Adam Gase made the veteran linebacker inactive for Sunday’s 19-17 win over the Chargers, leaving the Dolphins with four linebackers dressed and ready to play. One of those, Chase Allen, is an undrafted rookie who started in Timmons’ place.

Pouncey and some other Dolphins were asked about Timmons without all the details in hand and before Gase addressed the media at 3 p.m. Just the same, there was no hesitation about welcoming Timmons back.

“Of course,” Pouncey. “Heck, yeah, man. We don’t turn our back on anybody, regardless of the situation. Obviously we don’t know the full extent of everything but he’s one of us. He’s one of our brothers. We love him and we hope that he gets through whatever he is going through and get back to playing football with this football team.’

Linebackers Mike Hull and Kiko Alonso played every snap on defense Sunday because Miami was so thin at that position.

“It definitely was not ideal,” Hull said. “We kind of threw some stuff together on Saturday night and Sunday but, hey, it worked out and everybody stepped up when they had to and it worked out.

“It was awesome. It was a great opportunity to be able to play every snap. Obviously not what I was expecting but at the same time we all pulled together and we made it work. Every time you’re out there playing defense and playing the whole game, you forget how fun it is to play that much linebacker, so it was good to get out there again like back at Penn State and just run around out there and make plays.”

As for Timmons, Hull said he is glad to know that his teammate is safe and will let the team take care of everything else.

“Lawrence has been a great teammate,” Hull said. “He’s done everything that they’ve asked of him. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know enough of the situation right now, but he’s been great to work with. Whenever it was time to turn it on, he was turning it on in practice and in games. You saw what he did in the third preseason game. He went out there and killed it.

“You never know what’s going on with people’s personal lives outside of football. He’s a good guy overall. Everything he’s done in the building has been great. Once we found out he was all right it was a relief for everyone.”

Allen, who played his college ball at Southern Illinois, said “Lawrence has been awesome. He came up and introduced himself to me the first day here and just acted like a normal guy. He’s there for us so, yeah, Lawrence is a great dude.”

Allen was credited with three tackles on defense and one on special teams against the Chargers. According to data released the NFL, he was in on 14 defensive plays, which represents 24 percent of the snaps. Nickle cornerback Bobby McCain played 76 percent of the snaps but he said that was not because of Miami’s problems at linebacker.

“No, no, that was the plan originally,” McCain said. “That’s just how the game was.”

Timmons played his first 10 NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is a former first-round draft pick from Florida State. The Dolphins signed him in March on a two-year, $12 million contract.

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