Not much has gone according to plan for the Raiders this season and Darren Waller’s injury issues have been near the top of Las Vegas’ lengthy frustration list. Waller missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury and it has been a lingering problem since. Raiders fans and fantasy football owners have been asking when will Darren Waller return and be back on the field? Below we will offer a timeline for Waller’s recovery and look at live lines for the Raiders.
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When will Darren Waller return and be back with Raiders?
Waller is one of the more productive tight ends in the NFL when healthy. So when will Darren Waller return and be back on the field for the Raiders? The TE was designated to return from the IR on Dec. 14, which makes it a possibility that he will play this Sunday against the Patriots. Given how this season has played out thus far for Waller, a return in that game is no sure thing but there is mounting pressure for him to be back in the Las Vegas lineup this season. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr questioned the commitment of some of his teammates to play hurt following the team’s loss to the Colts in mid-November. Carr said he wasn’t talking about Waller specifically but the comments certainly raised some eyebrows.
When the Raiders finally placed Waller on IR on November 10, the idea was to give the TE four weeks to “get it right.” Here is what ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that day.
“Raiders are placing TE Darren Waller on injured reserve,” Schefter wrote. “Waller aggravated his hamstring injury and the team believes this will give him four weeks to get it healthy and finish the season.”
A Waller return in the Week 15 game against the Patriots is the most likely scenario, although Josh McDaniels did not commit to the notion that Waller would play against New England. McDaniels said “we’re going to have to see how the next few days go,” referring to practice this week. Here is a look at Las Vegas’ upcoming schedule.
- Week 15 Sunday, December 18: Patriots at Raiders
- Week 16 Saturday, December 24: Raiders at Steelers
- Week 17 Sunday, January 1: 49ers at Raiders
Las Vegas desperately needs to beat the Patriots to keep their slim postseason hopes alive, so there is a level of pressure on Waller to play in this game. When Waller was originally placed on IR, the Raiders were going nowhere and it was thought that the TE might be shut down for the season.
Injury expert Will Carroll on this week’s key NFL injuries
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Las Vegas has been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this season. The Raiders had +4000 odds to win it all just prior to the start of the season. Following the brutal loss to novice coach Jeff Saturday and the Indianapolis Colts in mid-November, Josh McDaniels’ squad plummeted to +30000. Here are current Raiders prices.