After a weekend of giving back to the Miami community, Xavien Howard’s karma seems to have been restored. Howard, who had been charged with domestic violence last year, will not be suspended by the NFL at the start of the upcoming season, as reported by Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Former Pro-Bowler Howard is entering his fifth year in the NFL, all of which have been spent with the Miami Dolphins.
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Five Years of Dolphins Football
Howard was drafted by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Baylor, where he played for three seasons. As a Bear, he accomplished 98 tackles, 10 interceptions, and a touchdown.
The Dolphins gave up a later second and fourth-round pick to snag Howard, but his career beginnings were far from smooth sailing. On the last day of rookie minicamp, when the second starting cornerback job was his to lose, he suffered a knee injury that required surgery. He was able to come back in time to start the regular season.
While his knee was reinjured just weeks in, requiring another surgery, Howard once again quickly returned to battle. He ultimately started eight games as a rookie, with 40 combined tackles, 29 solo tackles, and six pass breakups.
2017 saw a healthy and productive Howard, starting all 16 regular-season games, and improving monumentally on all of his rookie numbers. In 2018, Howard re-injured his knee again in the last quarter of the season, but was elected to his first Pro-Bowl. In 2019, he saw he rookie contract extended for five more years, at $76.5 million with $46 million guaranteed, making him the highest-paid cornerback in the game at the time. But injury kept Howard out 11 games last season, and he was officially placed on injured reserves on October 29.
The cornerback was met with charges exactly two months after his season officially ended. According to the police report, Howard and his fiancée were arguing, when the fight escalated, resulting in Howard pushing her into a mirrored glass wall. Howard spent a short time at the Boward County Jail before paying the $3,000 bond the next day.
Howard’s fiancée, with whom he shares three children, dropped the charges in February. But that does not preclude the NFL from disciplining Howard, as his actions did violate the players’ personal conduct policy. As of Wednesday afternoon, it doesn’t seem that the NFL will be enforcing any kind of suspension for Howard.
For Dolphins fans, this news is definitely positive. Howard and Byron Jones are projected to be the starting corners at the top of the season, leading the secondary, barring any further injury. While history doesn’t allow for any expectations, as Howard has been sidelined by his knee for three of his four years, it also shows that when Howard is healthy, he is fearsome.