The Las Vegas Raiders are off to a great 5-2 start and tied for the best record in the AFC but injury issues are piling up early. The tight end room has been hit the hardest this season as Derek Carrier and Nick Bowers are currently on the injured reserve. Carrier is done for the season but Bowers could still return.
Darren Waller is also banged up and was forced to miss Week 7’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles with an ankle injury. Luckily, the Raiders are headed into their bye week and should start getting healthier. In the meantime, the team is adding some depth to their tight end group. According to agent Travis Martz, Las Vegas is signing veteran tight end Daniel Helm to their active roster.
Helm has bounced the NFL since going undrafted in 2019. He’s made most of his mark with the San Francisco 49ers but also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He’s had a hard time getting on the field but did play in five games for the 49ers last season. Helm is mostly a special teams player but could come in and do some blocking on offense.
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Rich Bisaccia Offers Injury Update for Waller
It was a surprise that Waller couldn’t go on Sunday as he’s been very durable for the Raiders. He played in 16 games in each of the last two seasons. The team could’ve just been playing things safe but it’s never a good sign when one of your best players misses any time at all.
Luckily, the injury doesn’t sound too serious. On Monday, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said that Waller is day-to-day. The fact that he’s day-to-day likely means he should be back soon. With the Raiders on a bye week, Waller has plenty of time to recover. Foster Moreau is the biggest beneficiary as he becomes the starting tight end when Waller is out. However, he was hoping the Pro Bowler would play on Sunday.
“We worked our butt off with Darren the last 48 hours to try to get him ready to go,” Moreau said after the game. “He sets the standard. He’s our guy; he’s our offense. He’s a big, big leader on this team. Obviously, I have a lot of reverence for the guy. … I’m really thankful for Darren.”
Moreau Steps up in Waller’s Absence
Speaking of Moreau, he was excellent for the Raiders on Sunday against the Eagles. He caught six passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Though Waller is arguably the best tight end in the NFL, the team is in good hands with Moreau starting.
“We believe Foster is a starting tight end,” quarterback Derek Carr said Sunday. “So when he has to play, it’s not like, ‘Oh, man, Darren is out.’ It’s, ‘Oh, Foster gets to play.’ That’s the mindset.”
Based on Sunday’s game, it’s clear the Raiders have one of the best tight end duos in the NFL.