A ping-pong table was removed from the Miami Dolphins locker room in what apepared to be a move to eliminate distractions and to try and get the team out of this losing streak. The removal of the table was confirmed Wednesday afternoon by head coach Mike McDaniel, but was given a different context on Thursday.
On Wednesday, McDaniel said that the ping-pong table had been removed at the request of Dolphins team captains, most notably wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who he claimed believed that the locker room game had become a distraction.
“Tyreek and the captains decided that they wanted to take a step forward with all their opponent prep with regard to the team and their preparation with our game plans in general,” McDaniel said when discussing the removal of the ping-pong table. “… That, to me, is leadership. To me, leadership is acting, not talking. There’s a bunch of different examples from those guys, and that’s why they’re captains and that’s why I rely on them, because it’s about solving problems, not complaining about them.
“They, collectively, as a group of players, wanted more time investment during the week on their jobs for Sunday. So instead of just saying it, they did something about it. And that’s the whole reason that I really have a lot of love for those guys.”
However, Hill stated Thursday that the ping-pong table had been removed because it had gotten damaged and they were working on replacing it.
The Dolphins have lost back-to-back games following a 3-0 start, though they’re also missing starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins lost 27-15 to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4 and were then blown out 40-17 by the New York Jets in a game that saw them go to third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson after Teddy Bridgewater was also knocked out with a concussion.