Darren Waller

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

Darren Waller News

Leads team in receiving

Waller caught seven passes for 76 yards on 12 targets against Cincinnati on Saturday.

Analysis: The season is over for the Raiders in light of this 26-19 loss, but Waller played well for his own part and served as the main engine of the Raiders passing game. Waller is under contract for two more years but is majorly underpaid, so it will be interesting to see if he and the Raiders revisit the terms of his compensation, but Waller in any case projects for another big season in 2022.

Jan 15, 2022 6:21 PM EST

Cleared for playoff opener

Waller (knee) doesn't carry an injury designation for Saturday's playoff game against the Bengals after being listed as a limited practice participant this week, Rachel Gossen of the Raiders' official site reports.

Analysis: In his first game action since Week 12, Waller logged 62 of a possible 80 snaps on offense in this past Sunday's 35-32 overtime win over the Chargers en route to recording two receptions on nine targets for 22 yards. Now that he's further removed from his extended layoff, look for the star tight end to continue to see his share of targets this weekend, with improved efficiency a reasonable expectation for Waller, who finished the regular season with a 55/665/2 stat line (on 93 targets) in 11 contests.

Jan 13, 2022 1:57 PM EST

Listed as limited again

Waller (knee) is listed as a limited participant on Wednesday's practice report, with the Raiders holding a walkthrough for the second straight day as they prepare for Saturday's contest in Cincinnati.

Analysis: Waller returned for the overtime win over the Chargers on Sunday night -- catching two of nine targets for 22 yards -- and now figures to suit up for the wild-card round on short rest. He wasn't at his best in his first game back, but he did play close to his normal allotment of snaps (78 percent), and he had a big game earlier this season against Saturday's opponent (7-116-0 in a 31-13 loss to the Bengals in Week 11).

Jan 12, 2022 2:01 PM EST

Limited at walkthrough

Waller (knee) was limited at Tuesday's walkthrough, Rachel Gossen of the Raiders' official site reports.

Analysis: Waller made his long-awaited return from a five-game absence this past Sunday against the Chargers, and while he approached his typical offensive snap share (78 percent) he hauled in just two of nine targets for 22 yards. The tight end may need more on-field reps to put his IT band strain further in the rearview mirror, but he'll kick off prep for Saturday's wild-card game in Cincinnati with a cap on his reps, as he did all of last week. Thursday's injury report may clear up Waller's status entirely for the Las Vegas' postseason opener.

Jan 11, 2022 2:45 PM EST

Fails to produce on nine targets

Waller (knee) had two receptions (nine targets) for 22 yards in Sunday's 35-32 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: Waller was able to return from a five-game layoff and help the Raiders clinch an unlikely playoff berth. The athletic tight end was understandably rusty and likely did not play at full strength. It was a disappointing season for Waller overall, as injuries and some poor outings resulted in 55 receptions, 665 yards and just two touchdowns over 11 contests. There were no reports of the 28-year-old suffering any setbacks to his balky knee, but we will have to wait for practice reports to confirm his availability for next week's wild-card round against the Bengals. Cincinnati did allow the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, so Waller could make for a sneaky DFS option if his price is suppressed by Week 18's fizzling performance.

Jan 9, 2022 10:53 PM EST

Back in action Sunday

Waller (knee) is listed as active for Sunday night's game against the Chargers.

Analysis: Following league-wide developments earlier in the day, both Las Vegas and Los Angeles are fighting for a playoff spot in the final game of the NFL's regular-season slate. In that context, Waller will give it a go for the first time since Week 12, and even if he's somewhat limited following a long layoff, his return no doubt is a welcome development for the Raiders' Week 18 passing attack. The talented tight end checks back into the team's lineup with averages of 5.3 catches (on 8.4 targets) for 64.3 yards per game while scoring two touchdowns in 10 appearances on the campaign.

Jan 9, 2022 3:57 PM EST

Likely to suit up Sunday night

Waller (knee), who is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Chargers, is expected to play, Dianna Russini of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Las Vegas will need a win over the Chargers, a tie with the Chargers plus a Colts loss, or losses by the Colts and Steelers to secure a playoff berth, so the team will likely to everything it can to field its best lineup for Week 18. With that in mind, Waller looks like he'll at least try to give it a go after he was sidelined for each of the Raiders' last five games with the knee injury. Following his reinstatement Wednesday from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Waller was listed as a limited participant in three consecutive practices. While that signals that he's likely still less than 100 percent healthy, Waller's presence in the lineup Sunday in any capacity would be a welcome development for the Derek Carr-led passing attack. Those planning on deploying Waller in DFS lineups or in season-long leagues that are still active for Week 18 won't get official word on his availability until the Raiders release their inactive list 90 minutes prior to Sunday's 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff.

Jan 9, 2022 9:12 AM EST

Status up in air for Week 18

Waller (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday's contest against the Chargers, Rachel Gossen of the Raiders' official site reports.

Analysis: Waller seemed to be closing in on a Week 17 return following his bout with a strained IT band, but he landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list instead due to a positive test for the virus last Wednesday. He cleared league protocols this Wednesday and logged three limited sessions after that, but his status remains up in the air this weekend. Interim coach Rich Basaccia said a decision on Waller will depend on "where his cardio is" and "the reps that he gets" in practice, seemingly giving him a chance to play for the first time since Thanksgiving Day at Dallas. When it comes to considering the tight end in lineups, though, the Raiders are playing in the last game in the Week 18 slate, with a kickoff of 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, making it difficult to pivot to another option if Waller misses a sixth consecutive outing.

Jan 7, 2022 2:07 PM EST

Still listed as limited

Waller (knee) was listed as limited again on Thursday's practice estimate, Rachel Gossen of the Raiders' official site reports.

Analysis: Waller, who last suited up in Week 12, has now been listed as limited in the Raiders' two walkthroughs this week due to a knee issue, so what he's able to do Friday should add a degree of clarity with regard to the tight end's chances of suiting up for Sunday night's 8:20 ET kickoff versus the Chargers.

Jan 6, 2022 3:42 PM EST

Off COVID list, limited practice

Waller (knee/back) has been activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Analysis: Per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com, the tight end -- who last suited up in Week 12 -- logged a limited practice Wednesday. With that, Waller is trending in the right direction as Sunday's regular season finale against the Chargers approaches, but he'd presumably need to practice fully by Friday in order to avoid a Week 18 injury designation.

Jan 5, 2022 1:55 PM EST

Likely to practice Wednesday

Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said that he expects Waller (knee) to rejoin the Raiders for Wednesday's walk-through practice, Vic Tafur of The Athletic reports. "And hopefully if we get him in Wednesday's practice, he feels a little bit better about how it feels when he moves around, then we'll be really excited about what Thursday and Friday could possibly look like," Bisaccia said of the tight end, who hasn't played since the Raiders' Thanksgiving Day win over the Cowboys due to a strained knee.

Analysis: Waller also tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday and remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but he's expected to be activated in the next day or two after he completed a post-cardiac workouts with doctors Monday. Because Waller has missed the team's last five games, the Raiders will likely need the full week of practices to evaluate where the tight end stands in his recovery from the knee injury, leaving his status for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Chargers up in the air. Waller's potential return to the lineup in any capacity would be a major boon for the playoff-hopeful Raiders, who can clinch a postseason berth with a win or a Colts loss to Jacksonville.

Jan 4, 2022 6:53 AM EST

Still on COVID list

Waller (knee/back) remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list in advance of Sunday's game against the Colts.

Analysis: Until Waller, who had been dealing with knee and back issues prior to being placed on the list, clears the NFL's COVID protocols, Foster Moreau is slated to head the Raiders' tight end corps, with Nick Bowers and Daniel Helm in reserve.

Jan 1, 2022 4:57 PM EST

Lands on COVID list

Waller has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Raiders.

Analysis: Waller, who had been dealing with knee and back injuries, now has to clear COVID protocols in addition to overcoming those two issues in order to be able to play again. As long as he remains sidelined, Foster Moreau will continue to lead the Raiders' tight end corps.

Dec 29, 2021 1:50 PM EST

In COVID protocol, per report

Waller, who had been dealing with knee and back issues, has reportedly entered COVID protocols, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com.

Analysis: There had been some hope that Waller might return to practice Wednesday, but now that he's poised to land on the reserve/COVID-19 list, he now evidently has another hurdle to clear in advance of Sunday's game against the Colts.

Dec 29, 2021 12:47 PM EST

Could get back on field Wednesday

Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said he has some optimism that Waller (knee/back) will able to take part in Wednesday's walk-through practice in some fashion, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Analysis: Bisaccia made his comments after receiving feedback Monday from trainers, who worked with Waller while he rehabbed at the team's facility. Waller's pair of injuries have prevented him from practicing in any capacity since he exited early in the Raiders' Thanksgiving Day win over the Cowboys, with the star tight end missing each of the four games that followed. Due to the length of his absence, Waller will likely need to put in at least of few days of practice activity this week to have a realistic shot at suiting up for Sunday's game in Indianapolis.

Dec 27, 2021 5:33 PM EST

Inactive Sunday

Waller (knee/back) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Broncos.

Analysis: The Raiders deemed Waller doubtful for the contest after he didn't practice this past week, and he's now slated to miss his fourth straight game. In his continued absence, Foster Moreau will continue to head the team's tight end corps in Week 16.

Dec 26, 2021 12:02 PM EST

Doubtful for Week 16

Waller (knee/back) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Broncos after being listed as a non-participant at practice this past week, Rachel Gossen of the Raiders' official site reports.

Analysis: Meanwhile, Foster Moreau (abdomen/thigh) doesn't carry a Week 16 injury designation which sets the stage for him to continue to head the Raiders' tight end corps versus Denver, assuming Waller is unavailable. Given his doubtful designation, Waller is trending toward inactive status, though Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com relays that on Friday interim coach Rich Bisaccia left a bit of an open window open for the tight end to make an appearance this weekend. "It's been tedious progress. I'm not confident but I always want to leave it up to [Waller], to some degree. If he feels like he runs a little bit better, maybe tomorrow afternoon's workout, if he has a chance on Sunday to go, then we'll certainly let him go."

Dec 24, 2021 2:11 PM EST

Logs another DNP listing

Waller (knee/back) was listed as a non-participant in Thursday's walkthrough, Rachel Gossen of the Raiders' official site reports.

Analysis: Back-to-back listed 'DNPs' don't bode well for Waller's chances of returning to action Sunday against the Broncos, but he has one more chance to make a practice appearance this week. If he remains out, Foster Moreau (abdomen/thigh) would presumably be in line to head the Raiders' Week 16 tight end corps.

Dec 23, 2021 2:25 PM EST

Logs another DNP

Waller (knee/back) was listed as a non-participant in Wednesday's walkthrough.

Analysis: It's not the greatest sign that Waller, who last suited up for a game Nov. 25, isn't ready to practice, but he still has two more chances to take the field in advance of Sunday's game against the Broncos. If Waller remains sidelined, however, Foster Moreau would be in line to continue to head the Raiders' Week 16 tight end corps, provided his listed abdomen and thigh issues (he was classified as limited Wednesday) don't impact his playing status.

Dec 22, 2021 3:55 PM EST

No change to Week 15 status

Waller (knee/back) remains listed as out for Monday's game against the Browns.

Analysis: The Raiders had ruled the tight end out earlier in the week, when the game was originally scheduled for Saturday. However, as Vic Tafur of The Athletic notes, the extra two days did not provide either Waller, Denzel Perryman (ankle) or Trayvon Mullen (toe) with enough time for the team to consider upgrading their Week 15 status'. Foster Moreau therefore remains in line to head Las Vegas' TE corps versus Cleveland.

Dec 18, 2021 2:24 PM EST

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