Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard returned to practice on Thursday, but left tackle Terron Armstead was still missing during the media viewing portion of drills.
Both missed Wednesday’s practice — Howard with a groin injury and Armstead still dealing with the toe ailment that he played through in Sunday’s 42-38 win against the Baltimore Ravens.
The two veterans, who have six Pro Bowls between them, are pivotal for the Dolphins (2-0) as they get set to host the Buffalo Bills (2-0) in a divisional matchup at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.
Dolphins cornerbacks coach Sam Madison, speaking before Thursday practice, said he’s not worried about Howard’s availability for Sunday’s game against the Bills.
“You look around the league, there’s veteran maintenance days all around the league,” Madison said of his All-Pro’s Wednesday absence. “He’s a pro. He’s been through this before, and I’m looking forward to him [being] 100 percent.”
Howard will be the key in Miami’s efforts to limit Bills star receiver Stefon Diggs on Sunday.
Madison said he spoke with Howard about what he called “lackadaisical play as far as technique” on the 75-yard touchdown allowed to Ravens receiver Rashod Bateman last Sunday in Baltimore.
“After that, he went out there, he was confident, and he played extremely well toward the end of the game,” said Madison, adding that he teased Howard about dropping a potential pick-six that would’ve tied the game.
Dolphins offensive line coach Matt Applebaum said earlier Thursday that he was not surprised Armstead played through the toe injury in Baltimore, but now the Dolphins’ prized free-agent acquisition on the offensive line has missed two consecutive days of drills. Last week, he participated in Thursday’s session on a limited basis before playing.
“I felt pretty confident he would be able to play,” Applebaum said. “I mean, you’re talking about a pro’s pro. Guy’s been doing it a long time, knows his body, knows what he’s got to get out of any given week to be ready to play on Sunday.”
The Dolphins also remained without tight ends Cethan Carter (concussion protocol) and Hunter Long (ankle) at Thursday drills. Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr., who was limited in Wednesday’s practice, was still wearing a red, non-contact jersey on the practice field Thursday.
More injury updates will be revealed with the team’s 4 p.m. injury report.
This story will be updated.
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