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How Concerned Should Miami Dolphins Be About DeVante Parker's Surgery

Published by Bleacher Report on Tue, 09 Jun 2015

The Miami Dolphins were hoping for an instant impact with the first-round selection of wide receiver DeVante Parker.News of a foot surgery has put a damper on expectations, but those concerns may be misplaced. According to Parker's agent, Jimmy Gould, the Louisville product had the surgery as a precautionary measure, not as a response to a new injury."We did this for the sake of his long-term health," Gould said, according toSteven Wine of The Associated Press.Parker had surgery on the same foot last year, causing him to miss the first seven games of his senior season. The foot flared up a little in offseason practices and workouts with the Dolphins, which caused him to have another procedure to replace a screw that had been put in his foot following the previous surgery.The new screw is not without its consequences; Parker will miss the remainder of the offseason, and the start of training camp as well. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Parker may even begin camp on the physically unable to perform list:Parker was regarded as an NFL-ready prospect, and thereforehis development may not be hurt as much as other prospects who really needed the offseason to get up to speed. That being said, he will be going straight from the couch to the starting lineup since he won't have a lot of practice time before playing time begins.The Dolphins will also have to find out what to do in the meantime, while they wait for him to be fully healed up and ready to contribute.When the Dolphins announced the signing of wide receiver Greg Jennings, the news was written off due to his declining skills as well as the impending draft, which had the promise of delivering some young and talented receivers to the Dolphins roster. Now, with the new developments on Parker's foot, Jennings becomes an immediate factor in the offense in the Dolphins' three-receiver sets and could slot right into what would have been Parker's spot.Jennings' presence will tide the Dolphins over, but ultimately, their offense may still be hungry for big plays as they have been for years. His familiarity with Joe Philbin (from their time together with the Green Bay Packers when Philbin was the offensive coordinator from 2007-2011) may help him make a smoother transition to the Dolphins, but the system is quite different.Now, it's former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach Bill Lazor calling the shots, as he did in 2014 when Ryan Tannehill had the best year of his career.Ultimately, that's what is most important here: Tannehill.The fourth-year quarterback may not be in make-or-break territoryhis $96 million contract extension means he's probably safe for another couple of years at leastbut with a better supporting cast than ever before, this year needs to be a big one for Tannehill.One could even make the case that there's pressure on Parker to produce big numbers right off the bat, as well. Over the years, first-round wide receivers have shifted the landscape of their team's offense immediately upon joining the NFL.Since 2012, eight of the 12 wide receivers drafted in the first round have finished their rookie season with at least 50 receptions, and seven have finished their rookie season with at least 600 receiving yards.Before 2012, only 61 receivers had 50 or more receptions and 600 or more receiving yards in their first year. Indeed, it's the age of the passing game, and rookie wide receivers are benefiting more and more from rule changes that make their transition a little easier.The Dolphins were hoping that Parker would be the next of those receivers, and he still could be, but for now, his focus should be on getting back to 100 percent in time for the season opener.
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