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Justin Bethel made a strong case for an extended role as Miami’s nickel cornerback against the Broncos

There was a time when cornerback was a strength of the Miami Dolphins.

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Denver Broncos v Miami Dolphins Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins added cornerback Eli Apple after Jalen Ramsey suffered a knee injury in late July to be another experienced player in the secondary. The eighth-year vet was on the field for four snaps against the Denver Broncos before suffering a blow to the head and entering concussion protocol.

Coach Mike McDaniel announced on Monday that Apple had been cleared of a concussion, but the Dolphins were still short-handed at cornerback on Sunday, especially when factoring in the team’s decision to make rookie Cam Smith inactive for the game.

After taking down Justin Herbert for a sack late in Week 1’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers, 33-yard-old cornerback Justin Bethel finished with three tackles and again fit right with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s unit.

Bethel, who spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, and New England Patriots, allowed receptions both times he was targeted in coverage but held opposing receivers to just four total yards.

The sure-handed tackler has allowed receptions on all four times he was targetted this season, but he hasn’t allowed a completion longer than seven yards, according to PFF.

Perry Nickerson played 19 snaps at cornerback, and former Dallas Cowboys defender Kelvin Joseph was on the field for 15 plays against the Broncos. Bethel played 51 snaps for the Dolphins on Sunday — McDaniel and Miami’s coaching staff may feel it’s time to shuffle things up.

Apple allowed seven receptions for 76 yards against the Patriots in Week 2, and looking ahead, there are a few options on the table with a showdown against the Buffalo Bills quickly approaching.