The Miami Dolphins are breathing a sigh of relief after the NFL ruled that Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard will not be subject to disciplinary action over a domestic incident that took place last December.
Howard was arrested in late December on domestic violence after a conflict with his fiancee, though the Florida state attorney’s office ended up dropping the case two months later.
Despite that decision, the NFL still had the option of suspending Howard after ramping up up their efforts to address the issue of domestic violence in recent years.
The incident came at the end of a year in which Howard dealt with a knee injury that limited him to just five games for the 2019 season. The injury ultimately resulted in the veteran cornerback undergoing surgery.
The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown of the Dolphins’ team facilities don’t appear to have had any negative impact regarding his rehabilitation.
The 2020 season will mark the start of a lucrative five-year contract extension that Howard signed last year. The deal was signed after Howard led the NFL in interceptions in 2018.
Assuming Howard is healthy for the start of the upcoming season, he’s expected to be teamed with another high-priced cornerback, Byron Jones, who arrived during the free agency period. Both players may be tested during the course of the season by one of the Dolphins’ first-round picks, cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.