Miami Dolphins

Xavien Howard pledges to play vs. Jets; Alonso and Jenkins could be back too

Adam Gase will be without his starting quarterback Saturday, but should have some defensive pieces back.
Adam Gase will be without his starting quarterback Saturday, but should have some defensive pieces back. adiaz@miamiherald.com

And now, for some good Dolphins injury news:

The Dolphins are increasingly optimistic that linebacker Kiko Alonso, corner Xavien Howard and even linebacker Jelani Jenkins will play Saturday against the Jets.

All three missed the Cardinals game with various injuries; Howard, the rookie corner, hasn’t played since late September.

Howard told reporters that he will play Saturday.

“I feel really good about him right now,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said of Howard. “... He's comfortable.”

Alonso, Howard and Jenkins all practiced this week; Howard has worked without limitation for the first time since undergoing his second knee surgery since the summer. Alonso and Jenkins were limited in their participation the last two days.

Assuming Howard is active, he won’t automatically be a starter; the Dolphins like the way Tony Lippett has played, so Howard will be worked in slowly. The Dolphins have been abundantly cautious about rushing him back too quickly, but both he and the team might both feel like it’s time for his return.

Gase said the outlook for Alonso is "better than last week. ... He still has to get through the next couple of days."

Jenkins has been hurt for much of the season; he appeared in just one of the last four Dolphins games with hand and knee issues.

Gase said Jenkins is not going to be 100 percent if he does play; he wants wants to make sure they activate players who will make it through the game.

▪  Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, who is in town for the World Boxing Council’s annual convention, was a guest at Dolphins camp Thursday. WBC representatives presented Mike Tannenbaum, Adam Gase, Nat Moore and Cam Wake a championship belt.

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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