MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins will be without their three leading receivers -- DeVante Parker (hamstring), Mike Gesicki (shoulder) and Jakeem Grant (hamstring) -- Sunday vs. the New England Patriots.
Tua Tagovailoa will lead a very young receiving corps that consists of rookies Lynn Bowden Jr. and Malcolm Perry, special teams standout Mack Hollins, veteran Isaiah Ford, who was just signed and promoted from the practice squad, and Antonio Callaway.
Parker is the most surprising absence as there was high confidence as late as Saturday night that he would be able to play with what was described as a minor hamstring strain. It's unclear whether a setback or change occurred, but Parker will miss his first game of the season.
Parker, Gesicki and Grant combined for 1,609 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns this season -- more than half of the Dolphins' total allotment in both categories. That's a huge loss of production in a very important game for the 8-5 Dolphins as they try to maintain their spot in the playoff picture.
There was some good news for the Dolphins on Sunday morning as running back Salvon Ahmed, safety Bobby McCain and linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Jerome Baker are all active despite being questionable with injuries.
Ahmed, returning after missing the last three games with a shoulder injury. Matt Breida is also returning to action after missing the last two games due to reserve/COVID-19 protocols. Both are expected to take a heavy share of the Dolphins backfield with Myles Gaskin currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list and unable to play.