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The Mystery of Matt Roth?

Coming off his best season as a pro and entering a contract year should be reason enough for LB Matt Roth to be licking his chops as training camp begins. However, with two days of camp gone, Roth has not participated in any practice sessions. He reported with the rest of the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but failed a conditioning test and landed on the physically unable to perform list. He apparently indicated to Coach Sparano that it was the result of an illness, but when team doctors performed some blood tests, everything came back negative. His agent, the notorious Drew Rosenhaus, seems to think there is no mystery though, stating pretty bluntly that Roth is still recovering from his January surgery to repair his strained groin.

This begs the question though as to why Roth told Sparano he was sick. Sparano was adamant that he had heard nothing of lingering groin problems and was told twice that Roth was ill. This little drama aside, what all Miami Dolphins ticket holders and fans want at this point is for Roth to get on the practice field and prepare to build on his strong 2008 season. While the 26 year old Roth is likely to be the OLB of the future, any time he misses in camp means more first team reps for Jason Taylor, which can only help the savvy veteran prepare to make an impact in 2009. Roth projects as the starter, but the two are still competing for the strong side position, and this could potentially give Taylor the leg up in the battle.