Xavien Howard’s time is almost here.
The Dolphins on Thursday activated the rookie cornerback off the physically unable to perform list, clearing him to practice and play in preseason games.
Howard, the second-round pick out of Baylor, has missed all of training camp since injuring his knee late in the spring. He needed arthroscopic surgery to fix the knee and has gone through two months of rehab, but has run fluidly with trainers in recent days. He had to pass a physical before being activated.
Howard’s return gives him time to get back up to speed with the defense, and to potentially win the starting right cornerback job, as most expect he will.
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Tony Lippett is expected to start Friday against the Cowboys in the second preseason game, but he remains a work in progress. Chimdi Chekwa had pushed Lippett earlier in camp, but has missed the past two weeks with a leg injury.
The Dolphins have also signed veteran Chris Culliver, but he is expected out until October as he recovers from a significant 2015 knee injury.