Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin has been downgraded to "Out (Illness)" for tonight's game, but whatever's wrong with Martin—and that's not at all clear—is a lot more serious than a bug.
Jay Glazer first reported that on Monday at the training facility's cafeteria, the second-year player out of Stanford was the victim of a seemingly harmless joke. Dealing with an undisclosed illness, Martin sat down to eat with his teammates, and they all backed away, ostensibly afraid of catching whatever sickness he had. Martin "flipped out," Glazer said, smashed his food tray on the ground, left the building, and hasn't returned to the team since. The Miami Herald heard from two sources confirming Glazer's account.
The prank might have been what set Martin off, but it was clearly just a signifier of a larger problem. In Glazer's words, Martin is in a "treatment facility." NFL.com's Jeff Darlington said he "sought outside assistance after what a teammate called an 'emotional breakdown.'" The Herald's Armando Salguero surmises that it's counseling, as opposed to treatment for any substance abuse.
Martin had been moved from his natural left tackle position to right tackle before last Sunday's game, but the issues apparently run deeper, with one teammate telling the Herald Martin had been "more aloof" in recent days. The Dolphins have declined comment.