Mackensie Alexander‘s time with the Dolphins may be short-lived. The team placed the veteran cornerback on injured reserve Tuesday.
Due to the IR placement coming before roster cutdown day, the former Vikings and Bengals cover man cannot come off the injured list four games into the season. Players carried through to the 53-man roster can do so, but IR placements at this point on the calendar prevent such transactions.
The Dolphins signed Alexander eight days ago. An injury settlement could lead the seventh-year defender off Miami’s IR list and back into free agency at some point this year — that is, if this is not viewed as a season-ending injury. Alexander, 28, could rejoin the Dolphins post-settlement. For now, however, he is off the team’s 80-man roster.
Best known for his role as Minnesota’s slot corner, Alexander spent five months in free agency this offseason. The former second-round pick is coming off a season in which Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s worst full-time corner. Alexander, however, has been a regular throughout his career. The Vikings made the Clemson product a key part of Mike Zimmer‘s quality defenses throughout his rookie contract during the late 2010s, and the Bengals gave him $4MM to sign in 2020.
The Dolphins signed the 28-year-old defender to a league-minimum accord, guaranteeing him $138K. The team has not seen 2020 first-rounder Noah Igbinoghene step up as a reliable slot player alongside veterans Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Miami also did not re-sign Justin Coleman this offseason; Coleman is back in Seattle. The team did place a second-round tender on Nik Needham, however. This Alexander move could prompt the team to resume a search for corner depth. Dozens of defensive backs will become available next Tuesday, when teams trim their rosters from 80 to 53.