The Dolphins expected Xavien Howard to play on Saturday. Just not nearly as much as he did.
Howard was asked to be the Dolphins’ every-down cornerback after Byron Maxwell left the game in the first half with an ankle injury. After a brief examination, Maxwell tested the ankle on the sideline, but apparently it did not respond like he had hoped.
The plan for Howard was to ease him in slowly after a nearly three-month layoff. He’s had two surgeries since the summer for meniscus injuries. That changed quickly.
“They were just telling me to stay ready,” said Howard, who had a game-high three pass breakups. “All week, I was preparing as if I was going to play, going to start. I’ve just got to be ready when my name is called.”
Howard said his knee responded well and he had no discomfort.
Maxwell’s injury spoiled one of the game’s juiciest subplots.
For the second time this season, Jets receiver Brandon Marshall called out Maxwell, saying that he holds so often in coverage, Marshall was going to bring his own penalty flag in case the officials missed a call. Marshall wasn’t kidding; photographers captured him playing with a flag in his pocket.
For all his bluster, Marshall had just one catch for 16 yards Saturday, thanks in large part because of Lippett’s play.
He had two interceptions, including one on the last play of the game.
“I just knew I had to play,” Lippett said. “I knew I would be over [Marshall] a lot. Sometimes you have to go out there and play ball.”
A line change for the Dolphins
The Dolphins moved center Anthony Steen out of the starting lineup and replaced him with Kraig Urbik on Saturday night. Urbik made his fourth start of the season. Steen, who was not effective last week against Arizona, was still active.
Meanwhile, linebackers Kiko Alonso (hamstring) and Jelani Jenkins (knee and hand) were active and started.
Alonso missed one game last week against Arizona. Jenkins has missed five games, including three out of the previous four.
Both teams started backup quarterbacks, the Dolphins going with Matt Moore and the Jets with Petty.
The full inactive list for the Dolphins: Tannehill, Jordan Lucas, Nick Williams, Terrence Fede, Thomas Duarte, Dominique Jones and Rashawn Scott.
Franks botches extra-point attempt
Andrew Franks’ season of discontent continued on Saturday night.
The second-year kicker found a new way to cost the Dolphins points. After Miami’s first touchdown, he clanged the extra-point attempt off the left upright.
It was his first missed point after of the season.
That hasn’t been his problem. Field goals have.
He had missed four of 18 attempts in 2016 entering Saturday night’s game.