- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Defensive end Dion Jordan rejoins the Miami Dolphins rested, recharged and ready to start his season after a forced layoff.

The 2013 first-round draft pick sat out the first six games without pay for twice violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. With his suspension lifted, Jordan returned to practice Tuesday and might be activated for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville.

“It’s definitely a lesson learned,” Jordan said. “I’m human just like everybody else. I made a mistake.”

When asked if could tell Dolphins fans they should be confident he’s drug-free, Jordan chuckled.

“They should be confident I’m drug-free,” he said. “I’m very confident.”

Jordan was first suspended July 3 after testing positive for a prohibited stimulant. As the Dolphins were notified Sept. 19 that his suspension was lifted, they were advised of a second suspension, and Jordan underwent treatment.

“I feel much better,” he said regarding his hiatus. “It was unfortunate I had to take the time, but it was the most time I’ve had to myself in a really long time. I used it wisely as far as making sure I bettered myself and making sure I came back with a clear mind.”

Coach Joe Philbin said he has had numerous conversations in recent months with Jordan.

“We’ve been really focused on the future,” Philbin said. “The past we can’t change, so we’ve got to turn our attention to what’s on the horizon for him as a person and a player, and looking forward for him to do some great things.”

Jordan, who was allowed to take part in the exhibition season, said he’s unsure whether he’ll play this week. Philbin said Jordan looked good in practice, and a decision regarding whether to activate him this week will depend on how quickly he shows he’s up to speed physically and with the defensive scheme.

The third overall pick in last year’s draft, Jordan had a disappointing rookie season. He excelled as a pass rusher for Oregon, but at 6-6 and less than 250 pounds, he had trouble finding a home in the Dolphins’ 4-3 defense. A right shoulder injury hampered his development, although he played in all 16 games.

Despite speculation Jordan would be better suited to play linebacker, he’s expected to back up Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon at end.

“My abilities haven’t changed,” Jordan said. “I’m going to help these guys and make it a lot easier so that Cam and O.V. don’t have to take as many reps as they’ve been taking in the last few weeks.”

Jordan provides additional depth on a defense that is allowing only 4.7 yards per play, best in the NFL. He might also contribute on special teams, as he did last year.

“It’s great to have him back,” Wake said. “He’s a very dynamic player, and he does a lot of things for the team. Having him back in the lineup is going to be great.”

Wake said Jordan’s missteps didn’t shake his teammates’ trust in him.

“I’d like to think if you make a mistake, whether it’s dropping a football or fumbling or missing a tackle or sack, you learn from those mistakes,” Wake said. “Same thing off the field.”


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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