DAVIE, Fla. – not due to exhaustion, but because they were looking for a diamond earring.
Defensive end Kendall Langford said he forgot to take his earrings off before practice and lost one during drills. He said the diamond was nearly 2.5 carats, which is why he was still on the field an hour after practice scanning the grass.
At least nine teammates helped. Some were on hands and knees, and a couple used rakes to comb through the turf. They had a lot of ground to cover, because the Dolphins practice on two fields.
"I've got a great group of guys out here helping me — family-type guys," Langford said.
He declined to say how much the earring cost. One jewelry distributor said it could be worth more than $50,000.
Several fellow defensive linemen were among those assisting Langford in his search.
"He's a teammate. That's what you do," defensive end Ryan Baker said. "It's a fat diamond. It's a shame."
Coach Tony Sparano briefly watched the hunt for the jewelry but did not participate. He said he has never lost earrings at practice — or anywhere else.
"I can't afford them," he said.
Langford finally abandoned the search — temporarily, at least — because he was due at a team meeting. In addition, the grounds crew had started mowing the grass.