Dolphins vs Vikings : Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard is inching toward a return from a left knee injury.
But Howard’s return will have to wait at least one more game.
Howard, arguably the Dolphins’ best player this season, will miss his second straight game with Miami listing him as inactive against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
The Dolphins (7-6) face the Vikings (6-6-1) at 1 p.m. in U.S. Bank Stadium, with hopes of turning their recent luck into a playoff berth.
Howard was one of seven players marked inactive before the game, despite being seen on the field doing some straight-line sprints from sideline to sideline about an hour and a half before kickoff.
Howard, who is tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions, reportedly had arthroscopic knee surgery last week to trim his meniscus after suffering the injury during Miami’s home win over Buffalo on Dec. 2.
Without Howard the Dolphins face a daunting task against Vikings receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
Bobby McCain and rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick will likely start at the boundary cornerback positions. Torry McTyer, Walt Aikens, Cornell Armstrong and Jalen Davis could also see action when McCain is moved inside to play the nickel spot in Miami’s defense.
Dolphins quarterback David Fales, receiver Isaiah Ford, defensive end Jonathan Woodard and offensive linemen Zach Sterup, Isaac Asiata and Hroniss Grasu are also inactive for the Vikings game.