As the K.C. Chiefs prepare for Raiders Week at Arrowhead, they’re doing so with the wind in their sails with a five-game winning streak, part of which was a victory over the Raiders to the tune of 41-14. It was an embarrassing home loss for the Raiders, a game in which the Chiefs were in complete control despite being the visiting team.
That was also with Darren Waller healthy.
As the Raiders hope to exact revenge in Week 14, they’ll be forced to prepare over the next few days without knowing if they’ll have their best offensive weapon or not. That’s because tight end Darren Waller is nursing injuries to his knee and oblique.
The Las Vegas Raiders got a dose of good news when Darren Waller was upgraded to day-to-day.
Heading into Week 13, Waller was already ruled out against the Washington Football Team after suffering the injuries against the Dallas Cowboys. Initially, Waller wouldn’t have been expected to play versus Kansas City because he’d been termed week-to-week but Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia told reporters on Monday that Waller’s status had been updated to day-to-day. That means there’s a chance the Chiefs could see Waller at Arrowhead.
Waller has proven to be one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL in the last few seasons and has become a go-to target for Derek Carr in the Raiders offense. Coming off of consecutive seasons with 1,000+ yards, Waller is still showing consistent production in ’21 even as injuries or off-the-field incidents remove other targets to take away attention (Henry Ruggs III, for one). So far in 2021, Waller has 53 catches for 643 yards and 2 touchdowns for Las Vegas.
Coming into this season, Waller had upped his averages against the Chiefs to six catches for 75 yards in the last two seasons, averaging a touchdown per game in 2020 as well. The Chiefs were able to shut him down in Week 10, however, as he finished with only 4 catches for 24 yards on 7 targets.
If the Chiefs are going to come away with another victory over the Raiders on Sunday, shutting down Waller again would be a great focal point for the defense. Of course, that depends on whether or not the Pro Bowl player from 2020 is even able to suit up.