Rookie cornerback Xavien Howard will miss the start of Miami Dolphins training camp on Friday as he recovers from surgery to repair minor damage to a knee, a source tells The Miami Herald.
Howard, the team's second-round pick in the last draft, suffered the injury on the final day of mandatory minicamp in June. He is expected to be ready to begin practicing later in the preseason. He will be placed on the preseason physically unable to perform list initially until he is healthy enough to pass a physical and begin on-field work.
The injury, which is not considered serious, is nonetheless a setback because Howard is expected to compete for the starting job at cornerback.
This means second-year veteran Tony Lippett, who worked with the first team defense much of the offseason, will be the starting cornerback opposite Byron Maxwell at the start of camp and will obviously have a significant advantage in the competition for the position as Howard misses time.
[Update: Dolphins coach Adam Gase told reporters today the surgery was an arthroscopy and Howard "should be" ready for the regular-season opener.]