Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker, fed up with always being injured, is expecting ‘a big season’

DeVante Parker is hungrier — and healthier — than he’s ever been as a pro.
DeVante Parker is hungrier — and healthier — than he’s ever been as a pro.

If you look only at his game log, you could argue that DeVante Parker’s physical fragility is a bit overblown.

The Dolphins wide receiver has missed just three games combined in his two years in the league.

But Parker knows that’s not the whole story. He knows that a series of injuries — first to his foot, then to his hamstrings — have kept him from practicing enough to be great.

And he’s determined to end that trend now.

“I’m tired of being hurt and not healthy [for] a full season,” Parker said before the start of the Fins Weekend golf tournament on Friday.

“Expecting a big season this year.”

And he’s doing more than simply wishing it so. Parker has changed the way he has prepared.

“I made a couple of changes,” said Parker, who had 56 catches for 744 yards and four touchdowns last season. “… I’m just really focused on leg work, leg workouts mainly. I still do upper body, but I want to do legs to get my hamstrings right for this season.”

The Dolphins have noticed. Coaches who criticized Parker’s work ethic in years past now are applauding it.

“The great thing is we’re seeing what we were hoping to see and that’s a healthy DeVante Parker — he is running probably better than I’ve seen him run since I’ve been here — and a hungry DeVante Parker,” offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said a couple of weeks ago.

“I think he has been around a lot more than last year. He is practicing hard.”

Christensen then amped up the expectations for Parker this year, saying: “I really think he’ll have a great, big year — a gigantic year for us. That would be huge.”

Word of Christensen’s confidence got back to Parker, and it was well received.

And does he expect the same of himself?

“Of course,” Parker said.

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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