Drew Brees is going to the Hall of Fame.
Cordrea Tankersley is a rookie who never appeared in a regular season game before Sunday.
Tankersley, like anybody with at least a working knowledge of football, knew what was going to happen:
Brees would pick on him early and often.
Of course, Brees did. And got some completions on Tankersley, the Dolphins’ third-round pick, early.
But by and large, Tankersley hung in there — and played just as well, and likely better, than the guy whom he replaced Sunday. He nearly had an interception in the end zone in the first half, breaking up a would-be touchdown.
Byron Maxwell was going to get benched even before tweaking his hamstring late in the week. But the injury ensured Maxwell would be inactive, and Tankersley would be the guy.
"I was very excited,” Tankersley said. “You always want to get a start in the NFL. It's what I had worked hard for. It's a dream come true to be at this level and play against a Hall of Fame quarterback like Drew Brees."
Lou Anarumo, the Dolphins’ defensive backs coach, told Tankersley a few days back to expect to be active and play some on defense Sunday.
Maxwell, the fourth-highest paid player on Miami’s active roster, has been bad for most of 2017. It’s a replay of the start of last season, when Maxwell was benched in Week 4 after early struggles. He bounced back to play well in the second half of the season.