The next time the Dolphins take the field for practice, they’ll finally have Xavien Howard leading the defense. The team announced today that they’ve activated the cornerback off the reserve/COVID-19 and active/physically unable to perform lists.
This is a significant step for Howard, who was limited to only five games last year before suffering a knee injury. That ailment forced him to undergo surgery, but the 27-year-old had been rehabbing at the Dolphins’ facility since June. Howard was formally placed on the PUP late in July, and a recent COVID-19 test forced his placement on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Now, Howard will be looking to take another step forward following a 2018 campaign where he earned his first Pro Bowl nod. That season, the former second rounder compiled 35 tackles, 12 passes defended, and a league-high seven interceptions in only 12 games. Howard has been with the organization since 2016, appearing in 40 total games.
The Dolphins will be hoping that Howard will team up with free agent addition Byron Jones to form one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL. The team has a mixed bag of depth behind that duo, including Jamal Perry, Nate Brooks, and Nik Needham.
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