Miami Dolphins: Why Cordrea Tankersley plans to play Sunday

Miami Dolphins rookie cornerback Cordrea Tankersley has potential. (Andres Leiva/The Post)

DAVIE — It was nearly a month ago that Miami Dolphins rookie Cordrea Tankersley injured two body parts on back-to-back plays.

“The first play my shoulder and my arm went completely gone,” Tankersley said this week. “I had a bruised rotator cuff. I tried to stick it out. I go back in and the next play, I go in for the tackle and get rolled up by C.J. Anderson, who is a pretty big dude. That was it from there. I still tried to go and took some x-rays. But it was very painful.”

Tankersley, who had started 10 consecutive games at cornerback after the release of Byron Maxwell, has missed the last three, mostly due to the ankle injury.

“It was a major high sprain,” Tankersley said. “It was very serious.”

This week, Tankersley is not listed on Miami’s injury report. But even when he was injured, Tankersley kept trying to test his ankle in limited practice participation.

“That’s just my mentality,” Tankersley said. “If it ain’t broke. I just want to go out and help my teammates however I can. We were fighting for the playoffs. I wanted to be a part of that. Sitting on the sidelines, you really can’t help from there. It was too bad. I had to rest. But I’m going to try to get better for this week and rest in the offseason.”

Which brings us to Sunday’s season finale against the Bills at Hard Rock Stadium. It would seem to make some sense to shut it down and focus on next season. But Tankersley is determined to finish his first NFL season on the field.

“I probably will (play),” Tankersley said. “That’s just my mindset. I’ve been wanting to play since the Broncos game, but my legs just won’t let me. I’m able to walk, run and go almost full speed. So I feel like I can play this weekend.”

Tankersley slightly exceeded expectations as a third-round pick out of Clemson. He does not lack confidence or a willingness to tackle and play a physical style. But there are things he’d like to work on.

“Just learning leverage,” he said. “That’s really the only thing I need to learn. Knowing leverage and understanding where my help is. Instead of just being all in on certain things.”

The Dolphins have a youthful, promising group of cornerbacks. Tankersley, Xavien Howard and Bobby McCain are all 24 and Tony Lippett is 25.

“We have to put the work in each and every day,” Tankersley said. “We have a chance to be a complete secondary next year. A lot of growth and maturity is going to be added.”

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