DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase admitted he should have done things differently in Sunday's game when leading receiver DeVante Parker suffered an ankle injury against the Tennessee Titans.
After Parker left the game early in the first quarter, Miami’s receivers scrambled to adjust their roles, and Gase primarily played Jakeem Grant over Leonte Carroo. So far this season, Grant has two receptions for 11 yards while Carroo has no catches on two targets.
The Dolphins' offense struggled without Parker, accounting for just 178 total yards, with one touchdown and one field goal.
“I wished I would have mixed them both in there a little more,” Gase said. “When you have a guy go down and kind of tailored the game plan to those three guys (Parker, Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills), and all of a sudden it’s the third play of the game. ... We felt like Jakeem gave us as good of a chance as Carroo. I probably should have mixed them in more.”
The Dolphins (2-2) are expected to be without Parker for this Sunday’s game against the reigning NFC champion Atlanta Falcons (3-1). Parker, who has 19 receptions for a team-high 236 yards this season, missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday.
With a week to prepare, Miami could use a variety of alternatives to make up for Parker’s potential absence. The Dolphins can rotate Grant and Carroo at receiver in Parker’s role. They can also use more two-tight end sets, with Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano, or even three-tight end sets, by adding backup MarQueis Gray, in an effort to run the ball more.
The Dolphins traveled more than 15,000 miles in their first three road games this season -- to Los Angeles, New York and London. Now they might have a different challenge against the Falcons in possibly replacing their former first-round pick.
“Some of it is because of that first quarter and we are tired,” Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said. “We’re tired, so we played more people that kind of raises the energy level. If you know you’re going to play a couple of snaps -- if Jakeem Grant knows he’s got a role in the game, he’s going to practice better. He’s going to be more focused in.”