Eight players missing from practice. And Dolphins notes on Howard, Hill, McDaniel, more

Eight prominent Dolphins were missing from practice Wednesday, as the team continues to be cautious with knee and soft tissue injuries.

Among the eight were safety Jevon Holland, who missed the Washington game with knee injuries, and guard Robert Hunt, who re-aggravated a hamstring injury against the Commanders. Their status for Monday night’s home game against Tennessee (8:15 p.m., ESPN) is in doubt.

Mike McDaniel called it a “risk-reward situation” with each.

Holland said last Friday that the knee injuries were doing a lot better. But Miami is being cautious.

With Holland, “you’re talking about one of the better players at his position; we won’t mortgage the rest of the season to risk” it, McDaniel said.

Also missing practice: receiver Tyreek Hill, left tackle Terron Armstead (dealing with an ankle injury) and running back Raheem Mostert — all three of whom sometimes miss Wednesday practice — as well as tight end Durham Smythe (who has been playing through an injury), tackle Kendall Lamm (who has been dealing with a back issue) and linebacker Jerome Baker, who will be sidelined multiple weeks with a knee injury.

Hill, Lamm and Mostert were listed on the injury report as being out partly for “vet rest” reasons.

Also, running back Chris Brooks (knee) remains on injured reserve and was limited at practice on Wednesday.

McDaniel said cornerback Xavien Howard has been “phenomenal” this season.

“It’s gone under the radar to the public, but sure hasn’t gone under the radar to his team or his teammates,” McDaniel said. “He’s taken his game to another level.”

Is McDaniel surprised that Hill sees a lot of man coverage?

“I’m never surprised,” McDaniel said. “We see man every game. I’m more surprised when they’re not hedging their bet to protect themselves sometimes, but that’s just football sometime.

“Man coverage gives you a lot of versatility as a defense... advantageous situations in regard to the rest of the team, where you have a firmer fit against the run.”

Hill has caught some of his 12 touchdowns against man coverage this season, including one of his two on Sunday against Washington.

McDaniel noted that Titans rookie quarterback Will Levis, who remains the starter ahead of Ryan Tannehill, “can throw the ball far. They lead the league in plus 20-yard throws; 22 percent of throws are of that depth, so they challenge you.”

With Austin Jackson agreeing to a three-year contract extension on Wednesday, the Dolphins’ top free agents next March are set to be Christian Wilkins, Connor Williams, Robert Hunt, Andrew Van Ginkel and DeShon Elliott.

The Dolphins had discussions with Wilkins and Williams last summer and have shown interest in keeping Hunt and Van Ginkel.