Top News: Dolphins Add 2020 Pick, Xavien Howard Placed On IR

The Dolphins continued to add to their 2020 draft haul Tuesday when they acquired a fifth-round selection from the Los Angeles Rams.

The fifth-round selection is the one the Rams recently acquired from the Baltimore Ravens as part of the trade involving cornerback Marcus Peters.

Veteran cornerback Aqib Talib, who currently is on injured reserve, also came to the Dolphins in the trade Tuesday. Miami sent a seventh-round pick in 2022 to the Rams.

Talib was placed on IR on Oct. 14, making him eligible to return for Week 15 should the Dolphins decide to designate him for return.

Talib is a five-time Pro Bowl selection who has played for four teams — the Buccaneers, Patriots, Broncos and Rams. He spent the end of 2012 and all of 2013 with New England when Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores was the safeties coach for the Patriots.

“Obviously I have some history with Aqib,” Flores said Tuesday. “I think he’s a really good player. We had an opportunity to acquire him and some draft capital, so we felt like that was the best move for us and obviously he’s dealing with an injury and we’ll just see where that’s at.”

The trade with the Rams followed the one with the Arizona Cardinals which saw the Dolphins acquire a conditional 2020 sixth-round pick for running back Kenyan Drake.

With the trades of the last two days, the Dolphins now have 10 selections in the 2020 draft, not counting two expected compensatory picks for the losses of Ja’Wuan James and Cameron Wake. The 11 current picks include three in the first round, two in the second, one in the third, two in the fifth and one in the sixth.

Along with the conditional pick involved in the Drake trade, the Dolphins traded a conditional 2020 pick to Indianapolis for guard/center Evan Boehm and a 2020 seventh-round pick, and they traded a 2020 conditional pick to Minnesota for guard Danny Isidora, who started three games before landing on injured reserve.

Howard headed to IR

The game at Pittsburgh proved costly for the Dolphins, who will be placing cornerback Xavien Howard because of a knee injury.

Howard left the game in the third quarter after re-injuring his knee and did not return.

Making his return after missing two games, Howard came up with his first interception of the season in the first quarter to set up the Dolphins’ first touchdown, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 5-yard pass to wide receiver Albert Wilson.

Flores said no decision has been made regarding whether Howard will be undergoing surgery.

“We’re still doing the evaluations there and seeing where he is physically from a health standpoint,” Flores said. “Again, it’s unfortunate. He’s obviously one of our top players and you never want to see anybody get injured or deal with things, but he’s a tough kid and I’m sure he’ll bounce back. We’re still kind of going through that process right now and figuring out where we are.”

Reed responds

Offensive lineman Chris Reed, signed in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, got his most extended playing time of the season when he replaced rookie Shaq Calhoun in the second half Monday night.

Reed, who joined the Dolphins after three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, played 27 snaps after Calhoun had played the first 33.

“We thought at the time to make a change, to put in Reed for Calhoun, was the best thing for the team,” offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea said Tuesday. “I think that Reed went in and performed well. He’s a player that’s always very well prepared and one that we consider a dependable player on our roster and we were pleased with his performance once he went into the game and replaced Shaq.”

Grant gets going

After being slowed by a hamstring injury for the past three weeks, Jakeem Grant was a factor in the passing game against Pittsburgh.

Grant caught two passes, one good for 17 yards and the other for 15. He had one catch the previous three games, including the one against Washington when he was inactive because of his hamstring issue.

“It was great to see him get going and have a couple of the catches,” O’Shea said. “Certainly he’s got a great skill set and his speed is one that’s part of that skill set that’s unique. It was really nice and a positive to get the ball to him some. I think he’s made some progress here in the last couple of weeks, especially with where his health is. He’s made progress and hopefully he continues to do that. And if he performs like he did last night and has the catches, he’ll have more opportunities as we move forward here.”

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