The Las Vegas Raiders had their fingers crossed all this week that tight end Darren Waller would be able to suit up and play in the team’s upcoming game against the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s an all-important road game within the AFC West, but unfortunately, Waller is going to be unable to play after all due to injuries to his knee and back.
Waller is the Raiders’ most reliable offensive weapon and one of the best tight ends in the game after Travis Kelce of the Chiefs. He made his first Pro Bowl last season and was on his way to a third consecutive season with 1,000 yards or more receiving. Now, however, it might prove difficult for Waller to put together enough yards given his current total of 643 on the year to cross that threshold.
The Raiders were hoping to see Waller return to practice this week given that interim head coach Rich Bisaccia changed the tight end’s status early this week from “week to week” to “day to day.” At that point, it seemed like a possibility for Waller to rest all week and then see if he’s ready to roll. However, Waller and others on the roster haven’t made the leap forward in practice to be able to play.
The Las Vegas Raiders will miss Darren Waller on Sunday against the Chiefs.
The same is true of pass rusher Carl Nassib and the Raiders are also hoping linebacker Denzel Perryman will be able to play as well despite the fact that he’s doubtful.
Waller only had 4 catches for 24 yards in the first matchup between the teams earlier this year, but he’s averaged 75 yards in the last two seasons against the Chiefs and had a receiving touchdown in both games against K.C. in 2020.
Without Waller, Foster Moreau becomes an important figure with 13 catches for 169 yards and 3 touchdowns behind Waller this year. Moreau was the Raiders fourth round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.