DAVIE—The best game of Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard’s career came on a night he spent vomiting on the sideline because of the flu.
Howard was everywhere in Miami’s 27-20 victory over the Patriots and intercepted Tom Brady twice despite being miserable the entire day.
“Yeah, I was throwing up mostly like water,” he said after today’s practice. “And I took some Pedialite, so I was just throwing it up.”
He came down with the illness Monday morning at the team hotel and did everything he could to even consider playing that night. He was administered two bags of intravenous fluids, and none of that really helped. He played nonetheless.
Dolphins safety Walt Aikens, whose locker is right next to Howard’s, described it as a bad scene.
“Yeah, front row seat,” Aikens said. “It was rough. He was throwing up his guts. I thought he was going to die. It was kind of scary. I was in the splash zone. He balled out, though. Next time he gets sick, I’ll know not to care about him, because he’ll be all right for the game.”
Aikens and the rest of the secondary have been yelling “flu game” at Howard all week in reference to Michael Jordan’s legendary performance while languishing in the 1997 NBA Finals.
Beyond the two picks, Howard was exceptional in coverage on New England No. 1 receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks managed just one catch for 38 yards out of seven targets, and Howard was credited with an additional pass breakup. He defended several other passes thrown his way.
“He was in bad shape, man, but he pulled it out,” Aikens said. “He said he was going to be all right and he was good. He showed up.”
Howard was still sick today, but said he’s feeling “a little better” and will play Sunday at Buffalo.
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