Two new Dolphins cornerbacks arrived Wednesday and a third becomes eligible to play next week.
But coach Adam Gase said it’s too early to tell how soon newcomers Bene Benwikere or Chimdi Chekwa can contribute, or when Chris Culliver — who must spend another game on the physically unable to perform list — will be able to play.
As a result, Byron Maxwell and Tony Lippett remained the starting cornerbacks at practice Wednesday.
The Dolphins have only one interception all season (by safety Isa Abdul-Quddus) and are allowing a 101.5 passer rating against.
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Benwikere, who started four games for Carolina this season before being released, said he’s comfortable playing in the slot and on the boundary but “a lot of people watching the game say I look more comfortable and play better in the slot.”
He said he “definitely” will be ready to play Sunday.
“We took a shot at the guy; we got him,” Gase said of claiming Benwikere off waivers. “We’re always trying to find guys that when the ball is in the air, if we can get our hand on it and have a shot to have a turnover, that’s what we want to do. We got a couple guys that have the ability to do that. We haven’t put ourselves in position to do it quite yet.”
Benwikere, who has two interceptions in two-plus seasons, was released by Carolina after being toasted by Atlanta’s Julio Jones and said “conditioning” was a factor in that game “but I wouldn’t say my conditioning is bad. My main goal is to be in top shape and not let anyone outrun me. … I had that inner talk with myself, ‘What do I want to be — just another guy — or do I want to be an elite player?’ ”
As for Chekwa, he was receiving first-team work with the Dolphins in early August before sustaining a thigh injury that sidelined him the remainder of preseason.
Chekwa, who appeared in 32 games with four starts for Oakland over the past four seasons, had workouts with Seattle and Detroit in the past month but wasn’t offered a contract.
Asked whether Benwikere and Chekwa were brought in to compete to start, Gase said: “We have a long way to go before anybody is going to be able to get caught up that fast. There’s been a lot of schematic things were doing different since the last time Chekwa has been here. When you’re learning a new defense, it’s going to take a minute.”
Meanwhile, Culliver is eligible to come off the PUP list for the Oct. 23 Buffalo game, but said he’s not sure whether he will be ready to play then.
He said he should be able to do some things in practice Monday (the first day he’s eligible for that) but “probably not” participate fully.
Culliver sustained a serious knee injury in a Thanksgiving practice as a member of the Redskins last year.
THIS AND THAT
▪ Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who has been out with a calf injury, said he is on track to be ready to play when he’s eligible to come off injured reserve before the ninth game.
▪ Gase said defensive end Mario Williams, who has just seven tackles and one sack, has “been a little up-and-down. We’ve had a couple games he’s done well, done his job, had some production here and there. You’re always looking for consistency, every guy.”
▪ The Dolphins filled their open roster spot by promoting defensive tackle Leon Orr from the practice squad. He spent training camp with the Raiders.