The Miami Dolphins may have a big issue when it comes to Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers, and it has nothing to do with trying to slow down running back Melvin Gordon. Wide receiver DeVante Parker has been up and down all year, with question marks about his health a constant, but suddenly Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills injuries mean all three of the top receivers for Miami have issues. Both Landry and Stills missed practice on Thursday ahead of the team’s flight to San Diego.
Head coach Adam Gase was asked about the missing receivers on Thursday after practice. “After practice [Wednesday] they were not right as far as what we put on the injury report. We held them out today. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes, see if we can get them back in practice. Right now, it has been a day-to-day thing.”
Asked if it was an injury for both of them, or if it was related to the illness which caused Stills to miss the second half of the team’s game last Sunday against the Jets, Gase added, “It’s injury. I think we had Kenny with a calf and Jarvis with a shoulder.”
Landry and Stills joined cornerback Xavien Howard as the only players on the injury report as “Did Not Participate” on Thursday. While not on the injury report, Parker has been less than fully healthy for much of the season. Gase addressed the second year receiver’s situation as well, saying, “Sunday was little surprise for me. Tuesday, it looked like he was feeling himself out. And then Wednesday, he looked like the guy that’s a first-round draft pick. So, we were feeling really good going into Sunday. And then Friday, sometimes it’s hard to tell. We were working on red zone and things like that, so it’s hard to tell anything. (He) didn’t really have to open up.
“For whatever reason Sunday, things weren’t working right for him,” Gase continued. “He tried to open it up, but sometimes he just wasn’t able to go. Sometimes it’s hard to explain things. I guess I’ve been in a few situations with younger wide receivers. With Demaryius (Thomas), it was the same way. It was like you couldn’t buy a break. It was just something all the time that was bothering him, whether it would be an Achilles, a hamstring, his hand. I think he broke his hand one time or his fingers. He couldn’t catch a break. And then sometimes it just takes getting a little streak going where you feel good two, three weeks in a row and then you start getting very confident and you feel like, ‘Alright, I blew past that part of my career.’ It’s going to take some time to say, ‘I’ve had a couple of good weeks in a row. I’m alright.’ When you’re coming off any kind of soft tissue injury, you can’t explain it. You keep trying to do things to make yourself feel as 100 percent as possible.”
With their top three receivers all ailing, the Dolphins could have to rely more on rookies Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant this week, a prospect Gase discussed. “They’re doing a good job as far as trying to keep up with the older guys,” the coach stated. “It is harder though when you haven’t had as many reps and now all of a sudden you’re thrown into a game. We keep trying to develop these guys and get them ready to go. It takes time. It’s not easy being a rookie wide receiver.”
Asked about the Thursday practice for both Carroo and Grant, Gase replied, “They did a good job. I know there’s a lot of pressure on those two guys. They had to take a lot of reps. They’re still doing scout team, so it was a lot of running for them today. Right now, it’s going to be about getting their bodies recovered to make sure that they feel good on Sunday.”
The Dolphins flew to San Diego on Thursday, with the plan to stay in California through their Week 11 game at the Los Angeles Rams. The team will release an updated injury report Friday afternoon.