Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell said Tuesday that his injured ankle is improving, but did not yet know if he’d be able to play in Saturday’s critical showdown with the Bills.
Maxwell did not participate in the portion of practice open to reporters Tuesday.
If there was a silver lining, it’s this: Maxwell went through stretches with his teammates Tuesday before leaving to work with athletic trainers. He’s not in a brace or a walking boot. And he was able to dance -- albeit very gingerly -- in the locker room after practice.
“I made a cut and I felt something, it felt a little weird,” Maxwell said, when asked how he hurt his ankle Saturday against the Jets. He was only on the field for eight snaps before suffering the injury.
When asked what it would take for him to play against the Bills, Maxwell said it was a matter of inflammation and pain tolerance.
“It feels good,” Maxwell said. “Right now, it's just trying to get the inflammation out.”
Said Dolphins coach Adam Gase: “We’re still looking at where we’re at. We’re trying to figure out if we will have the ability for him to go this week.
If Maxwell cannot play, the Dolphins will again turn to Xavien Howard, the rookie who played well after Maxwell got hurt in the North Jersey. Saturday was the first time Howard had appeared in a game since September; Gase said Howard’s twice-repaired knee did not suffer any setbacks.
Linebacker Jelani Jenkins, meanwhile, appears to be a long-shot to play. Gase was not at all optimistic about the linebacker’s chances; he didn’t practice Tuesday. Jenkins has been dealing with hand and knee issues for much of the season, and did not play in the second half of Saturday’s game.
As expected, quarterback Ryan Tannehill remains sidelined and will not play against the Bills. He appeared briefly in the Dolphins locker room Tuesday, his injured left knee still supported by a full-leg hard cast.
The Dolphins will not release their first injury report of the week until Wednesday, so it is unclear if any other players were held out for a portion of Tuesday’s session.