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DeVante Parker’s return can add another dimension to Dolphins’ offense

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DeVante Parker’s return can add another dimension to Dolphins’ offense

Before Sunday’s 20-9 victory over the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker had only played in one game over the previous two months with hamstring and shoulder issues.

He was away for a key stretch during Miami’s seven-game losing streak that included losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons, and then he missed the first four of the Dolphins’ five-game winning streak going into the bye week.

Now, after quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the offense found somewhat of a groove without him, his reinsertion into the lineup can bring an added dimension to the Dolphins.

Playing 71 percent of offensive snaps against the Giants, Parker caught all five passes thrown his way in his return for 62 yards. He made acrobatic sideline catches for first downs on both the touchdown drive at the end of the first half and a key fourth-quarter drive in sealing the win.

“It feels good being back on the field with my teammates,” Parker said in a web conference on Monday. “I’m just glad I was able to be a part of the win. I just wanted to help us get a W, and that’s what I did.”

Having Parker and his ability to make contested, possession-type catches against cornerbacks on the outside gives Tagovailoa that option, expanding on what he’s been able to do with Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, Mack Hollins and others.

“It creates a lot of defensive issues outside,” said co-offensive coordinator George Godsey on Tuesday. “He does a great job blocking in the run game. He’s got a lot of experience to help out the guys in the meeting room. … Having his experience and productivity out there is definitely a helpful thing for the whole unit.”

Tagovailoa enjoyed being able to throw it up to Parker when in single coverage to allow him to go up and get the ball.

“DeVante adds another vertical stretch for us offensively,” Tagovailoa said after Sunday’s win, “and he makes tough catches when you need him to, so really glad to have him back.”

Tagovailoa and Parker have established chemistry on back-shoulder throws on the sideline in their season-plus together that has been interrupted multiple times by injuries to each.

“You just throw it to the guy and let him catch it because he’s done that and he’s proven that in his career,” Godsey said. “There’s a lot of evidence on tape of guys that have his ability to just get up there and catch the ball, whether it’s behind them, in front of them, a jump ball. As many times as we can get the ball in his vicinity, we like it.”

Added Parker: “Any time you see any of us receivers out there pressed against someone, you assume they’ll want to go to you. It’s a one-on-one matchup. You just want to go to that.”

His presence, while it means targets getting further split, can also free up other Dolphins pass catchers.

“When he’s going, everybody is feeding off of him, everybody is feeding off his energy and it drives everyone else to play better, as well,” said fellow receiver Isaiah Ford. “He’s a special player. He has extremely good body control, ball skills and everything like that.”

And Parker is also coming back to a renewed Tagovailoa.

“He has a lot more confidence, and you see it in his throws,” Parker said. “The one-on-one coverage, he goes to it. That’s what we like to see. Just the confidence in him. That’s good for the team.”

Baker nominated

Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker was named the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes a player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.

One of the first recurring events Baker established after he was drafted by the Dolphins in 2018 was a Christmas event for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. Born on Christmas Day himself, he hosts the event for children as a birthday gift and even made sure the event could be held virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic.

When a residential building collapsed in Surfside in June, Baker partnered with a minority-owned small business food truck to provide meals to first responders aiding in the recovery efforts. After an earthquake hit Haiti in August, Baker helped transport donation items to Haiti and supported a call for action for the public to deliver goods needed by the country.

When he was drafted in 2018, Baker established the Expand the Land Foundation to inspire youth and provide mentorship and programming in his hometown of Cleveland.

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Ramsey County to open new COVID-19 testings site at Frogtown Community Center

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Ramsey County to open new COVID-19 testings site at Frogtown Community Center

A new COVID-19 testing site operated by Ramsey County Public Health is slated to open Thursday at the Frogtown Community Center.

The site will offer free, self-administered saliva tests by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2 and 6 p.m., according to a news release issued by Ramsey County.

Appointments may be scheduled at ramseycounty.us/testing. The PCR tests administered at the new site will be processed by Vault Health.

In addition to the county testing site at the Frogtown Community Center, the state of Minnesota operates several in St. Paul and a new federally operated site is now open at the Minnesota Department of Transportation offices near the state Capitol.

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Auburn survives scare from Missouri in first game at No. 1

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Auburn survives scare from Missouri in first game at No. 1

O’FALLON, Mo. — The O’Fallon, Missouri, City Council is set to vote Thursday on whether to impeach Councilwoman Katie Gatewood.

She talked exclusively with FOX 2’s You Paid For It investigator Elliott Davis about the case that she calls unfair and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Gatewood is accused of interfering with a former O’Fallon Police Chief by questioning his decisions. She’s also accused of lying to the Council about the identity of a whistleblower who was giving her information about the police department and chief.

Yesterday, Gatewood’s attorney filed suit in federal court asking a judge to block that Thursday.

The suit said the impeachment is a violation of Gatewood’s constitutional rights. So far, the impeachment effort has cost O’Fallon taxpayers $161,000.

The Council brought in a special attorney to handle the case for the city. Gatewood and her Attorney have also been trying to get three Councilmen thrown off the impeachment board, who they said are biased against Gatewood and have made a public statement as to their positions 

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CU Buffs rally for huge win at Oregon

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Dolphins’ Brandon Jones to miss second straight game; Jaelan Phillips active vs. Giants

EUGENE, Ore. — This Colorado team clearly doesn’t make things easy on itself. And for some reason, the Buffaloes don’t bring their A-game until they have a mountain to climb.

Yet in this case, the aesthetics are irrelevant. Backed into what essentially was a must-win situation to keep alive any hopes at making a charge at an NCAA Tournament berth, CU rallied from a 15-point first half deficit to pick up its biggest win of the season, topping the Oregon Ducks 82-78 at Knight Arena.

With the win, CU avoided its first three-game losing streak since the end of the 2019-20 season, and it ended a six-game losing streak at Oregon.

Oregon hit six of its first seven shots, including three 3-pointers, while building a 15-point lead less than six minutes into the contest.

The fast start by the Ducks obviously wasn’t ideal but, much like CU’s rally from a 17-point deficit that fell just short three days earlier against UCLA, the Buffs didn’t buckle. CU kept pecking away throughout the remainder of the first half, and a Jabari Walker 3-pointer off an offensive rebound from Luke O’Brien cut Oregon’s lead to five points at halftime.

CU used a 10-2 run midway through the second half to surge ahead, taking its first lead on a 3-pointer from Evan Battey. The Buffs pushed their lead to 77-70 on a pair of Keeshawn Barthelemy free throws with 47.3 seconds left.

Walker led the way with his ninth double-double of the season and the 11th of his career, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Barthelemy also enjoyed a big night, going 9-for-9 at the free throw line while recording 19 points and four assists.

CU finished 8-for-15 on 3-pointers and went 20-for-22 at the free throw line. The Buffs (13-6, 5-4 Pac-12) outrebounded Oregon 30-22.

Colorado 82, Oregon 78

COLORADO (13-6, 5-4 Pac-12 Conference)

Battey 3-8 1-2 8, Walker 9-11 5-5 24, da Silva 5-6 3-4 15, Barthelemy 5-9 9-9 19, Clifford 1-3 0-0 3, Parquet 0-5 2-2 2, Simpson 3-6 0-0 8, O’Brien 1-4 0-0 3, Hammond 0-1 0-0 0, Loughlin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-54 20-22 82.

OREGON (12-7, 5-3)

Guerrier 8-15 3-3 22, Dante 2-3 0-0 4, Harmon 4-9 4-5 14, Richardson 5-8 6-7 17, Young 5-15 1-2 11, Williams 1-5 1-2 4, Kepnang 2-3 0-0 4, Soares 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 28-60 15-19 78.

Halftime — Oregon 42-37. 3-point goals — Colorado 8-15 (Simpson 2-3, da Silva 2-3, Clifford 1-1, O’Brien 1-1, Battey 1-2, Walker 1-2, Parquet 0-1, Barthelemy 0-2), Oregon 7-20 (Guerrier 3-8, Harmon 2-3, Richardson 1-3, Williams 1-4, Young 0-2). Rebounds — Colorado 30 (Walker 11), Oregon 22 (Guerrier 6). Assists — Colorado 17 (Simpson 6), Oregon 11 (Richardson 4). Total fouls — Colorado 13, Oregon 17.

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