Dolphins starting cornerback Byron Jones to miss first four games – The Denver Post


Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones was not activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list on Tuesday and placed on the reserve/PUP list.

Jones will now be forced to sit the Dolphins’ first four games of the 2022 regular season after being held out of training camp and the team’s three preseason exhibitions.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel and general manager Chris Grier are expected to address Jones, along with the team’s cuts to get down to a 53-man active roster on Tuesday, in a late afternoon press conference on Tuesday. When McDaniel last updated Jones’ status on Sunday, he said the team had Tuesday “pinpointed” as the date for a potential return to the roster, “but it’s a fluid situation that has to do with him and a lot of other players.”

Jones underwent lower left leg surgery this offseason and has taken longer than expected to recover.

In his two seasons with the Dolphins, he has two interceptions in 30 starts with 95 total tackles and a pair of forced fumbles.

The Dolphins will be without their No. 2 cornerback for a tough four-game stretch to open the season against the New England Patriots, at the Baltimore Ravens, home against the Buffalo Bills and at the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Dolphins are likely to look for cornerback help on waivers. They have All-Pro Xavien Howard, Nik Needham, Keion Crossen, Noah Igibinoghene and undrafted rookie Kader Kohou as cornerbacks that made the team’s 53-man active roster on Tuesday, the NFL’s cut-down day. Safeties Eric Rowe and Elijah Campbell are also capable of playing cornerback.

Having Howard and Jones on the boundary and Needham available to cover the slot in man-to-man coverage is critical to the Dolphins’ blitz-heavy defense where extra linebackers and safeties are often rushing the passer.

Crossen signed with the Dolphins this offseason as a special teams ace, but he has often impressed throughout camp with his pass coverage defensively. Igbinoghene, a first-round pick in 2020 who hasn’t seen much of the field in his first two NFL seasons, has not taken advantage of his increased preseason opportunities with Jones out and Howard often sitting. Kohou is an upstart undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M-Commerce who could serve as Needham’s backup nickel corner, where he started in the preseason finale with Needham on the boundary.

Beyond Jones’ absence, the Dolphins’ cornerback depth in camp was devastated by the losses of Trill Williams and Mackensie Alexander following back-to-back exhibitions against the Buccaneers and Raiders. Alexander was signed in reaction to Williams’ season-ending knee ailment.

Tuesday practice report

Among the Dolphins not practicing in the part open to the media were Howard, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, safety Eric Rowe, defensive back Keion Crossen, cornerback Nik Needham, linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, and tight end Tanner Conner.

McDaniel doesn’t typically reveal injuries. But Van Ginkel had his appendix removed last week, Conner has been wearing a brace on his left knee, and Waddle has been seen with a sleeve on his right leg and his right ankle taped.

Needham had been battling a hand injury. He went into the locker room briefly during Saturday’s preseason finale against Philadelphia but returned to the sideline.

This story will be updated.



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