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Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard undergoes knee surgery

Xavien Howard, Dolphins

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard underwent successful surgery on his left knee, coach Brian Flores confirmed on Thursday. The coach declined to talk more on the matter, he said in the press conference.

Howard has undergone two knee surgeries in the past, one on each knee. However, that did not stop Miami from signing him to the most lucrative deal for a cornerback in the offseason, handing the 2018 Pro Bowler a five-year, $76.5 million contract with $46 million guaranteed.

The Dolphins placed Howard on the injured reserve after Week 8. The injury was unknown, as reports indicated that he did not suffer damage to the ACL or MCL.

We just felt like that was the best decision for ‘X,’ ” Flores said when Howard was placed on injured reserve, via Hal Habib of The Palm Beach Post. “He’s been dealing with the knee for some time. It’s something that, thinking long-term and his career and his future with this team, we just felt like that was the best move. Obviously, there was a lot of thought, a lot of conversation.”

Despite knee injuries, Howard, 26, stands as one of the NFL’s best at his position. In 2018, he enjoyed a coming-out party that only reaffirmed that, posting a league-high seven interceptions all while missing four games.

Howard’s 2019 campaign did not live up to the hype of his big contract. In five games played, he recorded 17 combined tackles, four pass deflections and an interception. According to Pro Football Reference, he allowed a 117 passer rating in coverage before going to the injured reserve.