Miami Dolphins

Is Byron Maxwell still in the doghouse? Gase non-committal on playing his $9M cornerback

The last time Byron Maxwell played in a game was against the Jets in Week 3.
The last time Byron Maxwell played in a game was against the Jets in Week 3. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Byron Maxwell has not played since Week 3, and based on Adam Gase’s remarks Wednesday, has no guarantee to return to even the gameday roster, let alone the starting lineup, any time soon.

Gase was asked Wednesday if Maxwell, who has battled hamstring and foot injuries in recent weeks, would be activated Sunday if doctors deem him completely healthy.

Gase’s response:

“I don't know. We'll see.”

That is just the latest data point suggesting that Maxwell had fallen out of favor long before injuring his hamstring before the Saints game in London.

Even if Maxwell had not gotten hurt, rookie Cordrea Tankersley would have started ahead of him.

And Tankersley has done little to relinquish that starting role.

With Maxwell out of the lineup, opposing quarterbacks (including Drew Brees and Matt Ryan) have completed 74 of 108 passes for 657 yards, four touchdowns and one interception for a 93 passer rating. That’s not great, but it’s far better than what the Dolphins surrendered the first two games.

So what, short of injury, will need to happen for Maxwell to get back on the field?

“I think he just needs to keep working, keep doing really what was doing before he's kind of been banged up a little bit,” Gase said. “Once we get him back out there and we keep working through a little bit of injuries that he's had ... He always finds a way to get back in the mix.

“I know sometimes it's frustrating when you're a veteran player and you've got younger guys starting in front of you right now,” Gase continued. “The good thing is, he's a pro, he studies hard. He works hard. He goes out there and gives us everything he had, day-in and day-out. That's really all you can do. When your number is called, just be ready to perform.”

The Dolphins surely want to get something out of the player they’re paying $8.5 million this year. Maxwell’s salary goes to nearly $10 million next year, all but ensuring he will be cut if he does not turn things around quickly.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase says he supports his quarterback Jay Cutler and doesn't listen to the critics about benching Cutler during interviews after the Dolphins victory of the Falcons Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.

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