The good news is star tight end Darren Waller is expected to be back on the practice field this week, but beyond that we don’t know much.
Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said Wednesday that he expected Waller to practice, but he gave no promises about when he will next play.
Waller injured his hamstring early at the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5 and he hasn’t played since. Initially, Waller said he didn’t think he would be out long. He has been practicing in the past few weeks and was a game-time decision the past two weeks. Waller, 30, has missed eight of the past 15 games.
McDaniels didn’t have a lot of concrete answers Wednesday in regards if Waller will be able to play at home Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
“I think we’re in the same boat. I think you’ll see him today and hopefully we take another step forward,” McDaniels said. ”I’m not a doctor. I don’t have a medical degree. It’s very difficult to predict some of these things. Muscles and those kinds of things are always a little tricky, especially for a player that his number one skill, or one of his certain top traits, is his ability to run and open up and go. There’s no timetable. Some guys come back a little quicker than others. At the end of the day, the reality is if you come back too quickly from one of these, you usually end up out longer. So, we’re just trying to let his body tell us when the right time is, and hopefully that’s sooner rather than later. But we just can’t do it magically, snap our fingers and make it go away. We’ll give it another shot this week and hopefully we can turn a corner.”
After practice, Waller told The Athletic that he feels like he needs to practice multiple times fully to be able to play in a game and not worry about aggravating the injury. Thus, that may indicate he might not be ready this week.
Waller on what it'll take for him to return for the #Raiders: "I just got to be able to go through a whole practice — we practice almost two full hours — and then be able to string multiple practice days in a row together before you step out there and play in a game...— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) November 10, 2022
The only Raiders’ player to miss practice Wednesday with an injury was linebacker Denzel Perryman, who was out with hip/rib injuries. With Divine Deablo on the injured reserve with a former injury, the Raiders will need Perryman against the Colts. Deablo’s replacement, Blake Martinez, was out for personal reasons.
In addition to Waller, receiver Hunter Renfrow (hamstring/ribs) and Keelan Cole (knee) and linebacker Darien Butler (hip) were limited Wednesday.