Wide receiver DeVante Parker has reached another level in 2019. Miami’s offense felt the void left by the fifth-year receiver after he suffered a concussion early in Sunday’s 22-21 loss to the New York Jets.
The Dolphins lacked a clear target that could push the offense into the end zone. They had drives stall at the 21, 13, 16, and twice at the 19. While kicker Jason Sanders finished the day with seven made field goals on eight attempts, finding the end zone once could’ve been the difference for Miami.
The offense lost traction after losing both DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson to concussions. Parker had only two receptions for 28 yards before exiting the game.
It was also the first time since Oct. 13 that Parker was held beneath 50 yards.
“It definitely made it a little bit difficult,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said postgame about losing both Parker and Wilson. “We had guys out there hobbled and giving everything they had. I was proud to be in the huddle with those guys. I know there’s a lot of stuff people won’t see or don’t really care to write about, but there were some guys that really gutted it out today. It was tough sledding in the second half from communications and lining up for us just because of some of the injuries we had.”
The Dolphins entered action on Sunday as one of the league’s strongest teams inside the red zone. Parker helped Miami score with touchdown grabs of 17 and 43 against the Eagles in week 13.
Mike Gesicki then caught a touchdown from 14 yards out after the defense turned its attention to Parker. The Dolphins tried to go back to Gesicki after Parker left the game on Sunday, but the second-year tight end finished with just one reception on six targets for just six yards.
Isaiah Ford stepped in and had career highs in both receptions (6) and yards (92). With that in mind, the Dolphins lacked a player with a nose for the end zone.
#dolphins WR @iaf_1 caught 6/9 targets for 92 yards in miami's 22-21 loss to the jets on sunday. and with injuries to both devante parker and albert wilson, the 23-year old WR stepped up in a big way.
— josh houtz (@houtz) December 10, 2019
“He’s a guy that has done a great job of despite not being on the active roster,” offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea said of Ford. “He’s a conceptual learner, so he can line up anywhere and that happened in the game. He basically lined up at several different spots in the game. He did a good job of getting some other guys lined up, helping ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) in the huddle.”
The Dolphins are excited to see Ford finding himself a role on the team. However, they’re hoping to get both Parker and Wilson back sooner rather than later. Both were still in concussion protocol as of Wednesday morning.