Patriots Veteran Makes Bold Claim on DeVante Parker Hit

Patriots receiver DeVante Parker (on knees) took a helmet-to-helmet hit in the loss to Miami.

Getty Patriots receiver DeVante Parker (on knees) took a helmet-to-helmet hit in the loss to Miami.

Not much went right for the Patriots on Sunday afternoon in Miami, but the referees did not much help the situation. There were a number of questionable calls made against  New England, but none as blatant as the play late in the third quarter, as the Patriots were rallying, when receiver DeVante Parker took a clear helmet-to-helmet hit by DeShon Elliott on a pass over the middle.

The play came with 6:26 to go in the third quarter and the Patriots down, 24-10. They had the ball on a second-and-10 situation from their own 47, and Jones appeared to hit Parker for a gain of about five yards before Elliott came screaming in with a big hit on Parker that knocked the ball out for an incompletion.

Parker was injured on the play and did not return after that. But the referees let the play slide altogether. They ruled it a simple incompletion.

According to patriots veteran Matthew Slater, though, that is not the last that Elliott will be hearing about the Devante Parker hit. Slater made a bold prediction–even without a penalty called on the play, Elliott will see a financial hit in the future.

“I think he’ll end up getting fined for that play,” Slater said in the locker room after the game. “When they go back and watch it, they’ll probably end up fining him.”

Asked again about the play, Slater repeated: “They’ll fine him.”

Patriots’ Mac Jones Took Blame for Devante Parker Hit

While there was no immediate update from the Patriots on Devante Parker’s status after the hit, he had most certainly had his bell rung. The Patriots listed him as out with a head injury. Parker, who had one catch for 14 yards, was on the minds of Patriots players after the game.

“Yeah, definitely,” center David Andrews said after the game. “I don’t think you ever want to see someone go down. I’m not sure what they’re looking for and certain things. I hope DP (DeVante Parker) is alright. Unfortunately, it’s just a sad part of the game, injuries. But DP is a tough great pro, and I really appreciate him.”

Quarterback Mac Jones put the blame on himself for leaving Parker unprotected on the throw before the hit. While it left Parker vulnerable, that is no excuse for helmet-to-helmet contact.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s football and it’s a bang-bang play,” Jones said. “But I hate seeing that when you’re the quarterback, it’s the worst feeling in the world. You can’t put someone in that position. I feel like that’s a tough bang-bang play.”

Bill Belichick Ducks Questions on DeVante Parker, Refs

After the game, it was typical cat-and-mouse in the press conference with coach Bill Belichick, who has a stock answer whenever he is asked about a missed call form the refs: You’ll have to ask the referees about that, he usually says, knowing full well that the NFL only rarely makes the refs available to a pool reporter. But Belichick was upset with the officiating on the sidelines a number of times during the Patriots loss, including the DeVante Parker hit.

When he was first asked about the Parker hit, Belichick said in his press conference, “You should talk to the officials about that.”

When local anchor Steve Burton asked Belichick what was going through his mind watching the replay of the Parker hit, Belichick stood his ground and said, “Yeah, Steve, talk to the officials about it. What do you want me to do?”

Burton tried another tactic: “The announcers think said he just missed the call.”

Belichick, though, deftly rebuffed him: “I don’t know.”

The league ought to know, though. Slater is probably right—Elliott will be getting a bill for somewhere around $15-20,000 in the coming week or so.

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