Miami Dolphins cornerback Nik Needham was injured early in the first quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night. The cornerback made a tackle during the Raiders’ second possession, then rolled over and immediately grabbed his hand. Trainers appeared to be examing one of Needham’s fingers before taking the 2019 undrafted free agent back to the locker room.
Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor, working as a color commentator for the Dolphins, speculated that Needham sustained a dislocated finger, which would match what it appeared the trainers were doing before Needham walked off the field. Taylor stated that the team will likely take x-rays and ensure there is no fracture or chips in the joint, but if that is clear, Needham should be fine, though his hand will be sore for a few weeks.
The Dolphins cannot afford a major injury to a cornerback. Last week, Trill Williams, projected to be a depth option behind starters Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, and Needham, tore his ACL and will be out for the year. The team is struggling with depth at the position. Noah Igbinoghene, Keion Crossen, Kader Kohou, D’Angelo Ross, and Elijah Hamilton have all been competing for roster spots. The team signed Mackensie Alexander this week to provide more depth following the injury to Williams.