Byron Maxwell has been benched again, and his replacement is a stunner:
Cordrea Tankersley, a rookie who wasn’t even active for the first two games of the season.
Alterraun Verner is active, but has been dealing with a hamstring injury all week, so how much he would be able to play Sunday against the Saints remains to be seen.
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Meanwhile, Jordan Phillips will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury. Phillips practiced last week but was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report. Davon Godchaux will start in his place.
Maxwell hasn’t been good since the Dolphins’ preseason trip to Philadelphia. He was torched in practice and in the game, and is a big reason the Dolphins have allowed 79 percent of opponents’ passes to be completed.
Maxwell injured his hamstring in pre-game warmups, but the benching had been planned even before that.
If this seems strangely familiar, it should. The Dolphins benched Maxwell in Week 4 of the 2016 for similar struggles. He responded to the move, playing his best football in the second half of the season.
The Dolphins’ other five inactives Sunday: corner Torry McTyer, linebacker Rey Maualuga, guard Isaac Asiata, offensive lineman Eric Smith and tackle Sam Young.
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons will start just five days after being reinstated from an indefinite suspension.