Xavien Howard is finally back on the practice field.
But is it a week too late to make a difference?
The cornerback returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since injuring his knee in Week 13. He reportedly underwent arthroscopic surgery on his meniscus that kept him out of two games.
The Dolphins went 1-1 in those games, beating the Patriots but losing to the Vikings.
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That loss on Sunday crippled the Dolphins’ playoff hopes; they have just a one in 20 chance of reaching the postseason, according to FiveThirtyEight.
But they will have a zero percent chance if they lose to the Jaguars on Sunday; it’s the ultimately must-win game.
And there’s encouraging signs that their best player will be a part of it.
Howard on Tuesday was named to his first Pro Bowl. Even with the two missed games, he is tied for the NFL lead with two interceptions.
Meanwhile, safety T.J. McDonald was held out of practice after leaving the Vikings’ visiting locker room in a walking boot Sunday.
Defensive tackle Ziggy Hood and wide receiver Danny Amendola were also absent from practice during the portion open to reporters.