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Phinsider Radio: Could Jordan Howard see a heavy workload against the New England Patriots?

Could the fifth-year back be the key to Miami’s success in New England?

NFL: Miami Dolphins-Training Camp Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins enter the 2020 season with more depth than in recent years. As we approach the season, one constant among the coaching staff is the importance of fresh legs.

“You like to kind of keep [players] as fresh as possible and try to get a good rotation on each one of them,” defensive line coach Marion Hobby said on Sept. 2. “Just different packages that some people might play a little bit more than others, but it’s definitely a conscious effort to keep them fresh.”

While Hobby was talking about the team’s defensive tackle rotation, the same mentality will likely be used for Jordan Howard and Matt Breida, Miami’s “1A” and “1B” runningbacks for the upcoming season.

This is a good mindset to have, especially with a 16-game schedule (or potentially longer) on the horizon. However, if the Miami Dolphins want to start the 2020 season on the right foot, Howard should be the team’s featured back against the Patriots.

Not only does Howard have the second-most 100-yard rushing games since 2016 with 14 (Zeke has 26), but he is also just one of five players in the NFL with at least six rushing touchdowns in each of the last four seasons.

With players like Danny Shelton, Trey Flowers, Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Patrick Chung not taking the field for the Patriots, the Dolphins would be wise to keep the ball on the ground and pound it into the end zone.

Outside of scrimmages, teams have yet to tackle in a “game” environment, which may benefit Howard and his physical style of play. Keep in mind, running the ball will allow Miami's young offensive line to go out and be aggressive, which will hopefully help the young guns build confidence early in the season.

Howard has never rushed for more than 82 yards on opening day, but he may be Miami’s featured weapon in order for Brian Flores and company to exit Foxboro with a win in Week 1.

Be sure to let us know who your X-Factors are for week one. You can find the hosts of Phinsider Radio at @Houtz and @JMendel94