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Darren Waller

Las Vegas Raiders
Tight End #84
Las Vegas Raiders
Tight End #84
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Darren Waller News

Falls back in Week 2

Waller recorded five receptions on seven targets for 65 yards in Sunday's Week 2 win over the Steelers.

Analysis: Waller turned in a solid performance, but it was a disappointment relative to his explosive Week 1 effort. Even so, he matched Henry Ruggs and Hunter Renfrow to lead the team in targets and provided chunk gains of 25, 13 and 10 yards. Opposing teams are likely to focus a lot of attention towards Waller, though if Ruggs continues to beat defenses deep, Waller could find more room to operate once again.

Sep 19, 2021 3:09 PM EST


Sitting against Rams

Waller will not play in Saturday's preseason game against the Rams, Tashan Reed of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Waller recently returned to practice from a minor ankle issue, but the team is still playing it safe with their star tight end. That makes plenty of sense given that the Raiders' offense will run primarily through him come the regular season. Among the tight end corps, Foster Moreau is also not expected to play Saturday.

Aug 21, 2021 7:42 PM EST



Returns from ankle injury

Waller (ankle) returned to practice Tuesday, Tashan Reed of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: A report last week from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler said Waller likely would've been available to play had Saturday's preseason opener against Seattle been a regular-season contest. The tight end missed two weeks of practice but should still be plenty comfortable catching passes from QB Derek Carr in coach Jon Gruden's offense. Coming off back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons, Waller is most often picked in the second round of fantasy drafts.

Aug 17, 2021 7:36 AM EST


Injury severity downplayed

The Raiders are not overly concerned about Waller's ankle injury, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Waller would likely be available to suit up if the Raiders had a regular-season game this weekend, rather than a preseason matchup with negligible impact, according to Fowler. The team simply appears to be taking a cautious approach to the start tight end's health, which is a prudent strategy considering his importance on offense as quarterback Derek Carr's most trusted target. Even if Waller does end up sitting out Saturday's exhibition matchup against Seattle, he will have plenty of time to get back on the field before the Raiders' regular-season opener against Baltimore on Sept. 13.

Aug 13, 2021 7:54 AM EST


Works on the side Tuesday

Waller (undisclosed) was spotted working out with a trainer on the side during Tuesday's practice, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: The tight end isn't ready to practice just yet, but appears to be inching his way back to re-taking the field before too long. At this stage consider Waller day-to-day as Saturday's preseason opener against Seattle approaches.

Aug 10, 2021 8:16 AM EST



Getting closer to return

There's an expectation Waller (undisclosed) returns to practice "soon," Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Analysis: Sidelined from back-to-back training camp sessions earlier this week, Waller seemingly is tending to an unknown injury or ailment, which will be behind him in short order. Over the last two seasons, he's established himself as one of the most reliable performers at tight end, averaging 6.2 catches on 8.2 targets for 73.2 yards yards per game while scoring 12 touchdowns in 32 contests.

Aug 6, 2021 4:08 PM EST


Misses back-to-back practices

Waller is absent from a second straight practice Wednesday, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: A player of Waller's stature might get a day off just for maintenance, but two days in a row hints at an injury or ailment of some sort. The star tight end played all 16 games in 2019 and 2020, topping 1,100 receiving yards both times.

Aug 4, 2021 8:32 AM EST


Nipping at Kelce's heels

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce told NFL Films that Waller is "knocking at the door," adding that he can "feel [Waller] on my heels."

Analysis: Kelce remains widely acknowledged as the cream of the crop at his position, but he knows Waller and 49ers tight end George Kittle aren't far behind. Waller even reached a new level over the final five weeks of last season, averaging 8.6 catches for 130.8 yards and 0.8 touchdowns on 11.0 targets per game. He'll again be the top receiving threat in Las Vegas, where John Brown, Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards and Hunter Renfrow top the depth chart at wide receiver.

Jul 22, 2021 12:07 PM EST


Caps season with another big effort

Waller caught nine of 10 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 32-31 win over the Broncos.

Analysis: The tight end was nearly unstoppable over the final five weeks of the season, piling up a 43-654-4 line on 55 targets, and Waller wraps up 2020 with career highs in catches (107), yards (1,196) and TDs (10). The 28-year-old has emerged the last two years as Derek Carr's favorite option in the Raiders passing game, and while the team's crop of young wideouts could take a big step forward next year, Waller still figures to be the team's most dangerous receiver.

Jan 3, 2021 8:46 PM EST


Dominates as downfield receiver

Waller secured five of six targets for 112 yards during Saturday's 26-25 loss to the Dolphins.

Analysis: Had Miami not been able to pull out an improbable win in the final 20 seconds, Dolphins cornerback Eric Rowe would have endured even worse nightmares regarding Waller's Week 16 performance. The first-time Pro Bowl tight end logged four separate gains of 19-plus yards on the night, including a marvelous one-handed grab over Rowe in the third quarter. With Las Vegas eliminated from playoff contention given a Week 16 loss, Waller heads into the Raiders' regular-season just 21 yards shy of a second consecutive 1,100-yard season. The 28-year-old's eight touchdowns, meanwhile, have already more than doubled his previous career best of three.

Dec 26, 2020 8:34 PM EST


Excels in primetime loss

Waller brought in nine of 12 targets for 150 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders' 27-24 overtime loss to the Chargers on Thursday night.

Analysis: Derek Carr's late first-quarter exit did nothing to dampen the Pro Bowl tight end's production, as Waller led all pass catchers in receptions, receiving yards and targets on the night. The 28-year-old notched Las Vegas' first touchdown of the contest with a 35-yard grab early in the second quarter on a pass from Marcus Mariota, and he continued to connect frequently with the veteran backup throughout the game. Waller now has at least Thursday's nine-catch tally in four games, certainly an impressive feat for a tight end. His remarkable effort against the Chargers also put Waller within 33 yards of a second straight 1,000-yard season, a feat he'll look to accomplish in a Week 16 Saturday night battle versus the Dolphins on Dec. 26.

Dec 17, 2020 9:16 PM EST


Makes seven catches vs. Colts

Waller caught seven of 10 targets for 75 yards during Sunday's 44-27 loss to the Colts.

Analysis: Waller led the team in targets and catches while finishing second on yards, despite receiving special attention from an elite Indianapolis defense. He averaged just 10.7 yards per catch after his epic 200-yard performance a week ago, but it was still a strong showing from one of the NFL's most productive tight ends. Waller has posted at least 75 yards in three of his last four games, scoring three touchdowns in that span, and he'll look to add to his numbers Thursday against a Chargers defense that has been vulnerable to opposing tight ends this season.

Dec 13, 2020 4:52 PM EST


200 yards, two TDs against Jets

Waller caught 13 of 17 targets for 200 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 31-28 win over the Jets.

Analysis: Waller was unrecoverable for the porous Jets defense, scoring touchdowns of nine and 38 yards among his eight catches for 123 yards in the first half. He didn't slow down much after halftime, including a 15-yard catch on Vegas' final drive to get the team close enough for Henry Ruggs' game-winning 46-yard touchdown with five seconds left. This was Waller's second game with over 100 yards this season and he's up to seven touchdowns heading into a Week 14 matchup with a Colts team that has defended tight ends well this season.

Dec 6, 2020 1:27 PM EST


Draws seven targets in blowout loss

Waller caught four of seven targets for 23 yards in Sunday's 43-6 loss to the Falcons.

Analysis: Not even a pass-friendly game script saved Waller from a disappointing fantasy effort Sunday as the Raiders fell behind by 20 points early in the third quarter, but were ultimately kept out of the end zone all day. He's still seen at least one red-zone target in all 11 contests this season, but Waller has caught four passes or less in two of Las Vegas' last three tilts. On a more positive note, another favorable matchup awaits for him in Week 13 against the Jets, who just ceded a pair of touchdowns to Dolphins tight ends Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen on Sunday.

Nov 30, 2020 10:15 PM EST


Hits pay dirt in defeat

Waller hauled in all seven of his targets for 88 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 35-31 loss to Kansas City.

Analysis: Waller turned in one of the better performances of his season to date after failing to top 50 yards over his previous five contests. Luckily for his fantasy owners, the athletic tight end has been finding his way into the end zone on a semi-regular basis (five scores through 10 games). Derek Carr appeared to break out of his mid-season slump, which can only benefit a dangerous weapon like Waller. A favorable matchup against the Falcons awaits Oakland in Week 12.

Nov 23, 2020 12:55 AM EST


Team's top target on low-volume day

Waller secured three of his five targets for 37 receiving yards during Sunday's 37-12 win against the Broncos.

Analysis: Derek Carr and the Raiders only ended up completing 16 passes on the afternoon, deciding instead to lean upon a second-half lead and a ground attack that averaged 5.0 yards per carry on 41 attempts. Waller paced Las Vegas in both targets and receiving yards during Sunday's divisional win, though within Raiders' 19th-ranked pass attack he's now been held to 50 or fewer receiving yards in five consecutive outings. The touchdown production has been consistent for Waller, however, as he has compiled three over his past five games heading into a Week 11 matchup against the Chiefs' sixth-ranked pass defense.

Nov 15, 2020 5:30 PM EST


Hauls in fourth TD

Waller caught five of 10 targets for 22 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 31-26 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: While it wasn't the most efficient performance, Waller did set a new career high with his fourth TD of the season. The tight end has seen double-digit targets three times in eight games as Derek Carr's top option heading into Week 10's clash with a Broncos defense that has only given up two touchdowns to opposition TEs so far this year.

Nov 8, 2020 7:17 PM EST


Top target on sluggish passing day

Waller reeled in five of his six targets for 28 receiving yards during Sunday's 16-6 win against the Browns.

Analysis: Las Vegas managed just 112 yards and one touchdown through the air during Week 8, though the Raiders surely felt emboldened on the ground, ultimately pounding the rock 45 times for 208 yards. Waller at least still garnered a team high in targets, though his receiving total was his lowest of the year other than a two-catch, nine-yard day against New England in Week 3. An upcoming matchup against the Chargers isn't especially encouraging, as Los Angeles entered its Sunday matchup against Denver allowing the sixth-lowest reception total to opposing tight ends (26).

Nov 1, 2020 3:49 PM EST


Makes TD grab in loss

Waller brought in six of nine targets for 50 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders' 45-20 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Analysis: Waller was unsurprisingly heavily involved in a day when Derek Carr put up 36 attempts, with the big tight end drawing nine of those looks to co-lead the team with Nelson Agholor in that category. The 28-year-old's catch total set the pace for the Raiders as well, while his one-yard scoring grab late in the third quarter marked his third in the last five games. Waller's elevated role in the offense should certainly continue in a Week 8 road battle against the Browns.

Oct 25, 2020 5:21 PM EST


Five catches in Week 5 upset

Waller brought in five of seven targets for 48 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders' 40-32 win over the Chiefs on Sunday.

Analysis: Waller led the Raiders in receptions and targets, and his five-yard touchdown grab in the second quarter began a comeback from a 21-10 deficit. Waller has just two scores on the campaign, but he's already boasting a 34-295 line on 47 targets through five games. The veteran tight end will look to continue surging in Week 7 against the Buccaneers following a Week 6 bye.

Oct 11, 2020 3:37 PM EST


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