10:13 AM PT -- Howard just faced a judge in a Broward County Courtroom on crutches ... and the dude looked sad as hell.
The hearing was pretty uneventful -- Howard didn't say much -- and the judge ordered him to have NO contact with the woman he allegedly attacked.
The judge also set Howard's bond at $3,000.
8:10 AM PT -- Dolphins officials released a statement Monday saying, "We are aware of the situation and currently gathering information. We will have no further comment at this time."
Miami Dolphins star defensive back Xavien Howard was arrested just hours after his team beat the New England Patriots on Sunday ... cops say he roughed up his fiancee in an argument over a purse.
According to police documents obtained by TMZ Sports, Howard -- who missed the Fins' win over the Pats because of recent knee surgery -- got into an altercation with his baby mama at their Davie, Florida home late Sunday night.
In the docs, the woman -- who has three children with Howard -- claims the NFL player began arguing with her "over a recent purchase of a purse at a store that wasn't disclosed to her."
We know what you're thinking about the purse -- we're thinking it too -- but the report doesn't explain anything more than that.
The woman says the argument turned physical, the docs say Howard "grabbed both her arms and pushed her back up against the mirrored glass wall in the hallway of their bedroom."
The woman claims after 6-foot, 200-pound Howard let her go, she landed on one of Howard's crutches.
When cops arrived, they say they noticed she had "visible scratches and redness" on her arm as well as "redness and an abrasion" on her right elbow from falling onto Howard's crutch.
Responding officers believe there was enough evidence to make an arrest and took Howard into custody on a domestic battery charge.
Cops note Howard was NOT taken directly to jail because he complained of knee pain from his recent surgery. Officials took him to a local hospital first to be examined.