The Dolphins and the Jets have been unable to make a deal, but some hope is coming out of Miami for the return of the unproductive wide receiver DeVante Parker. He has been practicing with his new team for the past week and then Jets head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he thought he was “a game-time decision” for the game. In addition, running back Jay Ajayi, a recent addition to the Jets after his release from the Dolphins, has yet to pass his physical and remains on the waiver wire.
If Parker and Ajayi are both back for the matchup between the two NFC East teams in East Rutherford, N.J., then that would give the Dolphins a 1-2 punch on offense. The first game of the season is against the Jets in Miami, and Dolphins head coach Adam Gase told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the team would “absolutely” be a better team by welcoming back Parker. It will be a tough challenge for the team with quite a few key players out of action after having key players miss time during the offseason, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who had arthroscopic knee surgery and is at least going to be a few weeks away from practicing with the team.
.@CutonDime25 worked out with the Dolphins today for the first time and is expected to return to the practice field on Wednesday. A week after having hernia surgery, Parker practiced with the #Jets for the first time last Friday and has since missed three practices, including Tuesday, and Thursday’s OTAs because of his recovery. https://t.co/grT05KfhmI — Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) March 19, 2019
Wide receiver Kenny Stills, linebacker Kiko Alonso, tight end A.J. Derby, defensive tackle Sione Po’uha, safety Reshad Jones, defensive tackle Zach Moore, center Daniel Kilgore, offensive guard Ted Larsen, tight end Mike Gesicki, wide receiver Leonte Carroo, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, and defensive end Robert Quinn are all not practicing with the team, and for the most part, their injury issues are related to knee injuries. If Parker is indeed healthy, he would make a huge difference for the Dolphins on offense. They went from ranking 31st to 27th in passing in just 2018, and Parker certainly figures to be a huge part of the Dolphins success on offense.
There are also other question marks that the Dolphins may have to overcome. Gase is under a lot of pressure because of the fact that he was the coach when the team went 6-10 in 2018. Meanwhile, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross still has not made any clear statements as to whether he is satisfied with Gase’s performance, but did want to take some time before making a decision on the coach or if a change is needed on the front office. In addition, Gase’s status may have taken a bit of a hit after cutting defensive end William Hayes, who had four sacks, and wide receiver Jakeem Grant.
One thing that might help the Dolphins is that running back Frank Gore, who is 32-years-old, left town but not to start looking for a job. Coach Bowles said during the media availability on Tuesday that the soon-to-be 34-year-old is “still around,” and added that he wanted him to come to training camp and be a coach. Gore will have a bigger role this season, as the Jets will be behind the eight ball without Ajayi and with the injury to Bilal Powell, who is still not practicing.