Armando Salguero

The ‘moving parts’ that made DeVante Parker inactive last week. What it means this week

Miami Dolphins DeVante Parker on who is the fastest wide receiver

Miami Dolphins DeVante Parker speaks to the media about who runs fastest at Dolphin training facility.
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Miami Dolphins DeVante Parker speaks to the media about who runs fastest at Dolphin training facility.

When Dolphins coach Adam Gase was asked about DeVante Parker not being active for last week’s game against the New York Jets he mentioned something cryptic about, “a lot of moving parts,” playing a factor in the decision.

But we never got the moving parts explanation.

Here’s the explanation:

Last week as Parker was seemingly improving, there were serious conversations about him being active for the first time in 2018. But it was clear to the Dolphins the player wasn’t quite yet 100 percent from the broken figure he suffered in August.

And that left the door ajar for him re-injuring the hand during the game.

Yes, that would be bad for the Dolphins and Parker longterm. But the Dolphins were thinking what that would mean in-game.

If the team had activated Parker in favor of another receiver, and then Parker had re-injured his hand during the game and could no longer play, then the Dolphins would be down two receivers and have to finish the game with only three wide receivers, assuming we’re not counting Tanner McEvoy as a receiver.

The Dolphins didn’t want to do that.

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The Dolphins also considered special teams because if Parker was active and the decision was made to sit McEvoy, that would put the special teams one man down of a player who plays multiple roles on the unit.

And Parker, taking McEvoy’s spot on the active roster, does not play special teams.

Well, how about if the Dolphins had decided to make both Parker and McEvoy active? Once again that has an effect on special teams because it would likely sit some other special teams contributor from the active roster.

The Dolphins this week will again face a similar decision but part of the issues hindering the Dolphins from playing him last week have evaporated.

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With Parker now about seven weeks past the date he fractured the finger, the chances of him re-injuring it during a game because it’s not fully healed are much, much lower. Obviously, he can always re-injure it, but not because it was unstable or weak.

So the concern of being down a receiver during the game diminishes.

But here’s the thing: There is still the question of what to do with special teams.

Do the Dolphins inactivate Jakeem Grant and let Danny Amendola, Kenyan Drake and Senorise Perry handle kickoff returns?

Hard to fathom but I’m just laying out as many possibilities as available.

Does the team simply sit McEvoy? Again, that would force special teams coach Darren Rizzi to find another special teams contributor to replace him.

What if McEvoy and Parker are both active? That would mean the Dolphins are going into the game with six wide receivers. And it would mean someone such as linebacker Stephone Anthony or tight end Durham Smythe or maybe a defensive lineman would have to be inactive.

Obviously, this all assumes Parker has a great week of practice and earns the opportunity to be active on Sunday.

Me?

If he’s one of the best four receivers he plays. If he’s not, he doesn’t. That’s just me.

Playing time has to be earned in the NFL or the entire locker room notices.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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