The Miami Dolphins have removed cornerback Xavien Howard from the Physically Unable to Perform List and have activated him to the active roster.
The Miami Dolphins drafted Xavien Howard in the second round of this years draft to compete to be a starter at the cornerback position. Howard showed promise during his time in mini-camp and OTA’s but has been unable to practice during training camp due to a scoped knee. While the Dolphins have had ups and downs at the cornerback position, Howard has had to sit on the sideline waiting for his opportunity to fight for a spot.
The Miami Dolphins announced today that they have activated Xavien Howard to the active roster and he is no longer on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. This means that Howard has passed his physical and is now clear to practice with the team. Howard will likely sit out for the game tomorrow night, but will likely practice with the team on Saturday.
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Howard will have to perform well in order to win the starting job from Tony Lippett. Lippett has received the majority of starting reps opposite of Byron Maxwell during training camp. Howard will need to show that he is healthy and make the most of the opportunities to show the coaches why they drafted him. It is not an unlikely for Howard to earn the job before the regular season begins.
Tony Lippett has had and up and down offseason and training camp, and although he has shown improvement in the cornerback position he is still making his fair share of mistakes. If Howard sticks to his assignment and plays smart football he could fulfill the desire of many fans in being the starter on day one. It won’t be an easy or quick process though.
Even though Howard has been removed from the PUP list the coaches will still take it easy on him. There is no sense in rushing a player back from injury and risk aggravating it or causing something new to slow down development. Howard will have to take steps slowly and ensure that he is physically prepared for the toll that a full season in the NFL requires. If he can keep himself healthy, it will be a major boost to Miami’s secondary.