The health of cornerback Xavien Howard had been a bit of a mystery all offseason after he ended last year on injured reserve, but we got a bit of clarity when the Dolphins placed him Tuesday on the active/Physically Unable to Perform list.
It was one of two moves made by the Dolphins, the other being linebacker Calvin Munson being placed on the active/non-football injury list.
Both Howard and Munson will continue to count against the Dolphins' active roster.
Howard can come off PUP whenever he passes a physical, so there's some time before this becomes worrisome.
Still, it's not great news considering Howard underwent last fall what was described as "at least his third knee operation" after he had landed on injured reserve.
It was the culmination of a disappointing season for Howard, who was coming off a 2018 season where he made the Pro Bowl and established himself as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
Howard ended up playing in five games in 2019 and had one interception, which ironically came in his final outing of the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Monday night game at Heinz Field.
Howard's ability to regain his Pro Bowl is a key to the Dolphins secondary being able to reach elite status after the offseason acquisition of fellow 2018 Pro Bowl selection Byron Jones as a free agent.
Howard posted a video on Instagram live this past weekend showing himself backpedaling on a practice field. In late March, he posted a video on Instagram of a workout with the title "Road to Recovery."
Given that the first couple of weeks of "training camp" this year will be devoted to strength and conditioning because of the coronavirus pandemic, Howard missing some time at the outset isn't a big deal.
It could become a big deal at some point if Howard's knee problems linger.