Miami Dolphins will be without Xavien Howard against Patriots

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The Miami Dolphins' chances of an AFC playoff berth are teetering on each of the final four games this season.

Miami cornerback Xavien Howard has been one of the Dolphins' best defensive players this season, but he may not be on the field Sunday against the Patriots.

"We have to see how fast a healer he is".

Gase did not want to say whether Howard needed surgery to rectify the injury suffered against the Bills last week. "We have to make sure we do the right thing for him. We can't put him in a bad position".

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Howard's performance marked the second straight game he had two interceptions, and the fifth time in his career that he has secured two interceptions in a game. Back in his Week 4 return to Foxboro, the former Patriot caught two of the three passes that went his way for 21 yards as New England came out victorious, 38-7. He's going to be ready for us.

Howard missed practice for the second day in a row, although Gase said Howard was able to watch practice and get a gist of the Dolphins' game plan against the Patriots. He was limited in Wednesday's session (we'll know more about his status during Thursday's practice shortly), but Miami head coach Adam Gase made it pretty clear that Amendola had his heart on playing against his old squad this weekend.

When asked if Howard had a surgical procedure on his injured knee, Gase declined to comment.

"This is the first time that I would say that he's not being very compliant with me, " Gase said with a laugh.

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