Brian Flores Offers Optimistic Updates on Xavien Howard’s and DeVante Parker’s Injuries

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Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores gave injury updates on star receiver DeVante Parker and star cornerback Xavien Howard.

Howard is working his way back from PUP and the reserve/COVID-19 list. He was activated on Friday and went through his first practice.

“(He’s) conditioning,” Flores said of Howard. “Just those fundamentals — those techniques, the footwork, the hand placement — that everyone takes for granted that people think just happens, he needs to work on those and he has been. He needs to work on those techniques, work against the receivers, work with his teammates on communication. I think a lot of people just kind of take those things for granted. I know he doesn’t.

“I know he’s working diligently to get in and get those reps. He’s anxious to get in there because he knows he needs them. I think he’ll work towards getting to where he needs to be. Look, if we feel like he’s ready to go Week 1, then we’ll let him go. If we feel like he’s not, then we’ll make the decision when we get to that point.”

Parker has missed practice since the middle of last week with an undisclosed injury.

However, Flores gave a somewhat positive update on the receiver’s status.

“He’s working every day to get back out there as soon as he can again,” Flores said. “He’s been through some of this training camp and some of the conditioning and some of the fundamentals and techniques. When you’re out a couple of days, you just don’t want to lose those — if you don’t practice them, you start to lose them a little bit. But he’s built up enough — or I feel like he’s built up a good amount — so that hopefully he can kind of get right back to it. He’ll lose a little bit, but then he can get right back to where he was and continue to improve and elevate. Hopefully elevate.”

The Dolphins will certainly need both Parker and Howard if they want to improve on last season’s 5-11 record.

Parker had a breakout year last season, catching nine touchdowns and going for 1,202 receiving yards.

Howard is expected to form a top-tier cornerback tandem with newly signed corner Byron Jones.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.