DAVIE (CBSMiami) – As the Miami Dolphins wrapped up their preseason schedule, much of the attention surrounding the team was being paid to the injury status of two offensive players.
Left tackle Branden Albert was working his way back from major knee surgery. Rookie wide receiver DeVante Parker was coming back from foot surgery.
Both players recovered from their respective injuries in time to play in the Dolphins season opener last Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
Albert played a main role in the game as Miami's starting left tackle, one of the most important positions on the team.
Parker wasn't going to start, but it was thought that since he was suiting up for the game, he would make it on the field for at least five or ten plays.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins 2015 1st round pick, he only made it on the field for one snap and was not targeted by quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
"I expected a little bit more than one play," Parker later acknowledged. "I'm fine with one. I just want to wait for the right time to get me out there."
Frustration would be understandable as Parker had been working very hard to get healthy in time for Week 1, but the season is a marathon, not a sprint, and he seems to understand that.
There will be plenty of opportunities for him to be a major contributor to Miami's offense, but the team isn't going to risk any setbacks by sending him out on the field before he is fully healed. Tannehill agrees with that sentiment.
"It's just a matter of him getting healthy," said Tannehill. "We can't put him out there and have him be a liability to himself or to us with his foot. He's working, he's close, he's getting closer by the day, but we have to make sure he's right."
Parker even admitted that as much as he wanted to be on the field, recovering from his injury is a process that has to play out according to the timeline of team trainers and physicians.
"I just wasn't comfortable with doing certain things," said Parker. "I think my foot has done better every week. This week, I look forward to doing different things."
Now the Dolphins are preparing for this Sunday's intrastate matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Parker is hopeful that he'll be a bigger part of the offensive game plan.
"I just want to contribute, just go out there and be a factor to help the team win the game," said Parker. "That's all."
If he has a good week of practice and team trainers are happy with his progress, the rookie may get his chance to make an impact for the Dolphins.
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