Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker has appeared in two games this season, but “appeared” is a word with a lot of wiggle room. He was targeted just three times in Week 3, and was only on the field for four snaps in Week 6. He’s otherwise been struggling with injury, first a broken finger and then a quad injury. That’s the official word, anyway; Parker says he’s totally healthy and wants to play, and now his agent says it’s only coach Adam Gase’s “incompetence” that’s keeping Parker off the field.
Parker, the 14th overall pick in 2015, was a surprise inactive for Miami’s 32-21 loss to the Lions on Sunday, after being listed as a full participant in practice all week. Parker’s agent Jimmy Gould went off, blasting Gase to anyone who would listen. To ESPN:
“Coach Gase is incompetent — period — and not telling the truth when it comes to DeVante, who is totally healthy and was needed big-time today. This is the third game he has done this to DeVante this year. It’s sickening and a grossly unfair characterization of my client.”
“I am responding that coach Gase is not telling the truth and his decision was an example of poor management and cost the team the best opportunity to win. He continues attacking the health of my client and that is not acceptable.
Parker is not only healthy but wants to help this team win and the only real question that should be asked is how does coach Gase justify his own incompetence. The team averaged only 6.1 yds per catch. They need Parker active. He is completely healthy and was in full participation all week and in warmups this morning. Something smells in Miami.”
“I find the decision to make DeVante inactive today by Coach Gase incompetent and insulting. It’s also just not true and I am sick of hearing him say my player is not healthy. This is the third game this year that DeVante should have played in when you include the Jets and [New England]. DeVante is healthy and with injuries and [the Dolphins’] 6.1 [YPC], DeVante could have and should have been allowed to contribute.
“What a horrific decision by Coach Gase and he needs to take a very long look in the mirror and make himself inactive.”
Spicy stuff! The Dolphins’ pass game was pretty unspectacular, with Brock Osweiler filling in for the second straight game for Ryan Tannehill, whose injury is another ongoing source of drama in Miami. Osweiler’s numbers look okay, but were inflated by a whole bunch of short completions after the Dolphins went down early. Parker certainly would have helped after both Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills left the game with injuries.
But Gase appears to have no use for Parker. He acknowledged after the game that Parker’s supposed injury wasn’t the only reason he was benched for the Lions game, saying in his press conference that his active receivers “had been kind of rolling together” and he wanted to keep it going.
Parker has been the subject of trade talks, which seems like the best-case scenario for both teams. But ESPN reports that Miami’s asking price has been too high for other teams, and the injuries, especially the serious hip injury to Wilson, potentially throws a wrench into those plans.
The Dolphins are 4-3, just a game back in the division, and they’re right in the heart of the even tighter race to be Florida’s most dysfunctional football team.