Even with rookie second-rounder Xavien Howard recovering from knee surgery, Tony Lippett isn’t simply being handed the starting cornerback job opposite Byron Maxwell.
On the fifth day of training camp on Tuesday, the Dolphins gave substantial first-team work to veteran cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, who hasn’t played in the league since 2014.
Chekwa said he received a few first-team snaps over the first four days of camp but was told before Tuesday evening’s practice that he would get a lot of work with the starters.
“He’s a guy who does a good job in press,” coach Adam Gase said. “He has had good ball disruption, as far as what we’ve seen. We’re just going to keep giving him a shot.”
A former fourth-round pick of the Raiders out of Ohio State, the six-foot Chekwa has appeared in 32 regular-season games, all for Oakland, and started four of them. He spent two months with New England in the spring of 2015 before being released. Oakland released him off injured reserve last September, and he sat out the rest of the season.
Chekwa, 28, said he has been held back by two knee injuries and a hamstring injury over the past couple of years.
His strength? “Breaking on the ball,” he said.
Lippett has been up and down in camp. During one sequence Tuesday, he allowed far too big a cushion to Kenny Stills, who caught a pass along the sideline for a first down. But a few minutes later, he knocked away a pass to Leonte Carroo.
Running back Damien Williams practiced for the first time in training camp, and it was eventful. After linebacker James Burgess administered a particularly physical hit against Williams, Williams then leveled defensive end Farrington Huguenin on a pass block.
“I wasn’t thinking of anything else but making my block and doing my assignment,” Williams said.
Huguenin was carted off, but Gase said he “will be all right.” A few minutes later, Ndamukong Suh appeared to scold Williams in an animated conversation.
Was Suh angry with him?
“No, he was just like, ‘I like how you came back,’ that kind of thing, ‘but we don’t want to hurt anybody,’” Williams said.
Of Williams’ big hit, Gase said: “You don’t want somebody to do something that will injure your teammate. [Williams] was a little upset what happened on the play before. It’s not something we’re looking for in practice.”
But Gase was pleased to see Williams return from practice after dealing after a hamstring injury and working his way back into shape.
“I am excited to see what he can do,” Gase said. “I love his energy. I love his physicality. I love his route running ability.”
This and that
▪ Receiver DeVante Parker missed practice with a hamstring injury, but the Dolphins do not believe it is serious.
Running backs Jay Ajayi (knee) and Isaiah Pead (hamstring) also sat out, as did receiver Tyler Murphy (hamstring).
▪ Gase is pleased with Billy Turner, who continues to get the majority of the first-team snaps at right guard and also received some second-team work at right tackle. “Billy has done a great job,” Gase said. “I love the way he works.”
Jermon Bushrod also is getting some first team work at right guard.
▪ Former Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers attended practice and worked with the receivers, at the Dolphins’ invitation.