DeVante Parker was at practice on Wednesday. And that’s the second consecutive session the Miami Dolphins’ receiver participates in after missing the final three games of the preseason and early preparation for the regular season because of a broken finger.
Parker had his right hand wrapped and caught passes in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media. So, yes, the Dolphins are optimistic Parker could be available for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
The Dolphins are definitely optimistic their fourth-year receiver will make difficult the ultimate call whether to play him or not. Because that would mean Parker is really close to being ready.
And the Dolphins believe they’re better with Parker than without Parker.
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That’s interesting because the team did just fine without Parker in the regular-season opener last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
Kenny Stills caught two touchdown passes.
Jakeem Grant, who more or less took Parker’s snaps, caught five passes.
Albert Wilson factored. Danny Amendola factored.
It was fine. The Dolphins didn’t seem to miss Parker.
But here’s the key issue the team must weigh if Parker is ready to play:
Going without Parker means that if the Dolphins receiver corps were to suffer an in-game injury, the next man up would be Tanner McEvoy. Tanner McEvoy, by the way, was added to the roster after the final cuts were made and he is considered primarily a special teams contributor.
So not optimal.
With Parker active, the Dolphins would go to the game with their full complement of receivers and be able to withstand an injury to any of them and still not be adversely affected.
So Parker available is valuable.
On the other hand, and this will be part of the conversation when coaches make the final decision on Parker’s status, it is not known if the player is 100 percent ready. It is not known what his conditioning is. It is not known if he’d be risking re-injury.
Many of those questions will be answered by this week of practice.
So to say he is definitely not playing or definitely set to play is not totally correct right now. The next day or two will be important.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero