As of Thursday morning, the Miami Dolphins training camp is fully underway. From the Xavien Howard situation to position battles to superstar injuries, Back Sports Page is putting it all in one place so you don’t miss a thing.
First and foremost, Xavien Howard. Howard, the Dolphins’ superstar cornerback, has officially requested a trade from Miami. The news doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following the situation, but Howard fully suiting up for day one of camp allowed the Dolphins faithful a glimmer of hope before making his request public later that afternoon. It remains to be seen if the Dolphins will grant his request, but Howard’s presence at camp is seen by some as a sign that he will “buck up” and play through the season despite his obvious desire to either restructure or play elsewhere.
Although it would be a tough loss if “X” were to find a new home, his trade value is at an all-time high. Further, CB Byron Jones is a far cry from average, and the Miami secondary would remain an elite unit even without its crown jewel.
On Tuesday morning the Dolphins signed Notre Dame LT Liam Eichenberg, who they selected in the second round of the NFL draft. With that, every rookie contract had been finalized and players could turn their attention towards locking up a starting spot on the roster. For sixth-overall pick Jaylen Waddle, it seems almost certain that the field will become familiar in year one. For later selections like Jalen Phillips and Jevon Holland, they’re looking to prove themselves at camp. Early reports are positive on nearly all rookies, and Miami seems to have taken care of business in this years NFL Draft.
The most noteworthy absence thus far has been that as WR Will Fuller V. Although his injury has been undisclosed, Coach Brian Flores spoke to media saying that his status is currently day-to-day, leading to belief that we’ll see the former Houston Texan suit up before the end of camp. Additionally, WRs Preston Williams and Devante Parker have both been placed on the PUP list, abbreviated for “physically unable to perform”. None of the above injuries seem long term, however, it’s easy to imagine the Dolphins brass frustrated going into training camps shorthanded. Outside of the WR group, T Larnel Coleman is currently on the Covid-19 reserve list, the only Miami Dolphin on on said list.
Perhaps the biggest story as it pertains to the future of the franchise, all eyes are on second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa. After a volatile minicamp, the Alabama alum seems to have found his footing with this Dolphins team. Even in the absence of two, arguably his top two receivers, the biggest takeaway from his performance thus far is confidence. He’s shown poise and purpose in the pocket while being unafraid to use his arm and make tough throws, shown off in his unloading of a sixty-five yard pass to WR Albert Wilson. This is certainly a change of pace from his much more conservative rookie showing, as NFL level coaches have had more time to mold Tua and this offense to work together, and transition undoubtedly made easier by the presence of former Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle, who Tua looked to several times during the Dolphins 11 on 11 scrimmage Wednesday.
What To Look For:
As training camp rolls on, we’ll be keeping an eye on player injuries as well as the most interesting position battles. Miami still has yet to discover their go-to option at halfback, but Jordan Scarlett seems to have emerged as an early favorite. It is also unknown how big of a role newly signed Shaqueem Griffin will play in the Miami Defense. Finally, any and every Dolphin fan should watch closely the Xavien Howard situation as well as the development of Tua Tagovailoa, as both players play a critical role in the direction of the franchise. In the meantime, Back Sports Page will be here to bring you every new story and development coming from camp.
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