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The Miami Dolphins were missing a spark on their offense for most of their Week 1 contest against the Seattle Seahawks. Other than one possession in the fourth-quarter, the offense simply could not find a rhythm, and when Seattle was effective in keeping wide receiver Jarvis Landry blanketed, there was no where for quarterback Ryan Tannehill to go with the ball. Heading into an AFC East showdown with the New England Patriots this week, the Dolphins have to find that spark and get the offensive rhythm working much earlier this time around.
Can that spark be found in DeVante Parker?
The second-year receiver missed last week’s game dealing with hamstring issues. It is the second this year, already, that Parker has had this issue, and it parallels the start to his rookie season, when he missed time after having to have a screw in his foot replaced. The Dolphins used a first-round pick in 2015 to land Parker, and he came with huge expectations. So far, those expectations keep landing on the sideline, instead of on the field, when it comes to game day.
At the end of last season, Parker showed the flashes that had the Dolphins and their fans excited about what the Louisville product could bring to the offense. Now, after missing a week to start the 2016 season, Parker has to bring that production to an offense that sorely needs it. All signs seem to indicate Parker will be ready to go on Sunday, despite being listed as “questionable” on the injury report.
If Parker is healthy and ready to play up to his full potential, the Dolphins offense will have a capability they just could not find last week. If the Patriots double-team Landry, Parker will be open. If they focus on Parker, Landry will be available. Somewhere in there Kenny Stills, Leonte Carroo, Arian Foster, Damien Williams, Jordan Cameron, and Dion Sims could find a role that leads to more options for the Miami offense.
Head coach Adam Gase told the media on Friday that Parker is likely a game-time decision, with the team wanting to see how he responds to practicing throughout the week to include Saturday’s walkthrough. Parker has been acting like a player who will be making his debut this week, and he seems to be excited about getting back to football.
Hopefully, that excitement bleeds over to the fans as they watch Parker add a spark to the offense.