Patriots players react to DeVante Parker’s controversial hit without a decision originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
DeVante Parker took a hit to the head at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, the type of hit the NFL wants to eliminate from the game. The officiating team apparently saw it differently.
Midway through the third quarter of the New England Patriots’ Week 8 game at Miami, Dolphins safety DeShon Elliott leveled Parker with a big hit that displaced a second-down pass from Mac Jones. A repeat of the hit showed that Elliott’s helmet was in direct contact with Parker’scausing the wide receiver’s head to snap back.
The play looked like helmet-to-helmet contact, which normally results in an automatic 15-yard penalty. However, head official Land Clark and his team didn’t throw a flag and the Patriots stumbled two plays later.
Parker left the game with a head injury and was out for the remainder of the game. He finished his day with a catch for 14 yards The Patriots’ 31:17 loss.
Head coach Bill Belichick gave a curt answer after the game when asked about the no-call on the Parker hit.
“You should talk to the officials about that,” Belichick responded.
Patriots captain and special teamer Matthew Slater was a little more candid with reporters he believes the NFL will discipline Elliott because what he saw was an illegal attack on Parker.
“I think he’s going to be fined for this game,” Slater said of Elliott. “If they go back and look at it, they’ll probably end up fining him. … They will fine him.”
It’s very possible that Elliott will hear from the league after this hit, which seemed to fit illegal contact on a defenseless receiver. The lack of a flag would be all the more puzzling. Patriots center David Andrews also seemed a little confused that a flag wasn’t thrown at Elliott.
“I’m not sure what they’re looking for in certain things,” Andrews said. “I hope DP is well. Unfortunately, injuries are a sad part of the game. DP is a tough, great professional and we really appreciate him.”
The missed call barely cost the Patriots’ game on Sunday; The offense totaled just 218 yards, while Jones threw a brutal interception in the second quarter that led to a six-point swing.
But if the NFL is serious about keeping players safe, it needs to punish hits like the one Elliott scored against Parker on Sunday.