During the second half of the Miami Dolphins loss to the New York Jets, many people were questioning why wide receiver Mike Wallace wasn't on the field. There was speculation going around that something had happened between Wallace and the coaches that prompted Philbin and the coaching staff to bench the team's number one wide receiver, while certain individuals merely figured that the team was protecting Wallace as he'd had a tight hamstring all year long.
Once the game was over, Wallace refused to speak to the media, choosing instead to have his fellow wide receiver Brandon Gibson speak on his behalf. Gibson stated that he was protecting his teammate, and that he didn't want Wallace to say something he would regret.
Wallace has been known to be upset over the lack of deep balls thrown his way in the offense, which of course was his little niche in Pittsburgh when Ben Roethlisberger was his quarterback. Now with Tannehill, he's had to change his role to a certain extent and become more of a balanced wide receiver, which he's made an effort in doing, but for reasons still unknown, Wallace was benched in the second half and never came back.
"Coming into the start of the second half we were notified that Mike was not going to play in the second half." said Gibson on behalf of Wallace. "Brian [Hartline] moved over to Mike's position. And I moved over to Brian's position and Jarvis Landry stayed in the slot."
All we can do is speculate exactly what it was that prompted Philbin to bench Mike Wallace. Whether it was an argument Wallace had with the coaching staff or a lack of effort on his one and only target during the game where at first glance it appeared Wallace was jogging instead of running after it; the fact is it happened, and the team doesn't appear willing to specify what happened.
"Differences of opinions led us to Mike not playing in the second half. That's kind of all we have to say about the coaches," Gibson said for Wallace. "That's how it went."
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who reportedly had words with Wallace during the game, also seemed vague regarding the Wallace situation taking place.
"It was coach's decision, so that's the way it worked out." said Tannehill.
Hopefully more details will come out as the days go by, but as of right now, it appears that the Miami Dolphins locker room is in shambles, and perhaps what they need is an offseason to cool off and get their acts back together. In the meantime, Joe Philbin and general manager Dennis Hickey will have to be on the lookout for more leadership for next season. Hopefully that will be what gets the team past their locker room troubles.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter at @FLSportDebater