Dolphins CB Howard, Bengals WR Boyd ejected

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Miami Dolphins star cornerback Xavien Howard and Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd were both ejected for what referees called “throwing a punch” late in the second quarter of Sunday’s game.

Boyd and Howard got tangled up in a scuffle out of bounds after a third-down incompletion. The ejections appeared to be an overreaction as replays showed that both players were going back and forth with pushes, and it does not appear that a closed fist punch was thrown or landed. Either way, both players were sent off after a lengthy discussion.

To make matters more puzzling, Boyd was the only player given a unnecessary roughness penalty backing up the Bengals 15 yards, which led to a 53-yard missed field goal by Randy Bullock.

Both players were having strong first halves. Howard extended his NFL-best interception lead by nabbing his eighth interception of the year off Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen in the first quarter, while Boyd scored a 72-yard touchdown just a few plays later in the quarter.

The Bengals led 7-6 at halftime of what was a sloppy first half of football filled with costly penalties, drops and these two key ejections.

Rookie cornerback Noah Igbinoghene will fill in for Howard while veteran receiver Alex Erickson steps in for Boyd.

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