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Raiders place tight end Darren Waller on COVID list

He’d probably have difficult time to play Sunday

Las Vegas Raiders v Dallas Cowboys
Darren Waller
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Monday, Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia was “optimistic” that star tight end Darren Waller would be able to practice Wednesday as the team started preparation for a must-win at the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

However, Wednesday came and Waller became the Raiders’ latest player to go on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list. He is reportedly vaccinated, so he can get out of the protocol before Sunday’s game. But it’s not that simple in Waller’s case.

He hasn’t played since November 25 when he suffered a knee injury against the Dallas Cowboys. Bisaccia said Monday that Waller would likely need two-three days of practice before being able to play to get the rust off and to rebuild chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr. So, Waller is still dealing with the affects of the injury that cost him the past four games and the reality of being on the COVID list.

So, at the Colts, the Raiders’ passing game may continue to revolve around slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and the team will hope that Waller’s backup, Foster Moreau, continues his recent uptick in production.

The Raiders later added defensive tackle Kendal Vickers to the COVID list and now currently have 10 players on the list, but they did take three players off Wednesday, while adding Waller.

Bisaccia said he does think the team will get the other players, who previously went on the COVID list, off in time to play Sunday.

Bisaccia also said he expects to get defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins back Sunday. He missed the win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday with a back issue.

Meanwhile, the New York Jets signed linebacker Javin White off the Raiders’ practice squad. An undrafted rookie last year, White played in four games in 2020 and one game this season.

UPDATE: The Raiders added some linebackers, including old friend Kyle Wilber.