Raiders Update Darren Waller’s Injury Status After Missing Practices

darren waller

Getty Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller.

The Las Vegas Raiders had to hold their breath against the Dallas Cowboys when star tight end Darren Waller was forced out of the game with an injury. Luckily, he only had a strained IT band, which isn’t bad considering the alternatives. However, he still could miss some time due to the injury.

Waller missed practice for the Raiders all week as he nurses the injury. On Friday, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia announced that the tight end will be doubtful for Sunday’s matchup against the Washington Football Team. Waller is a very important part of the offense so it’ll be a blow if he can’t end up playing.

That said, the Raiders pulled off a win against the Cowboys last week despite Waller missing most of the game. The team also beat the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in the season in a game where the tight end didn’t even suit up. Obviously, the Raiders would much rather have him on the field if possible but it’s not a guaranteed loss if he can’t play.

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Foster Moreau Could Be in for Big Game

foster moreau darren waller

GettyFoster Moreau with Darren Waller.

A big reason why the Raiders don’t need to panic if Waller can’t play is Foster Moreau. The 2019 fourth-round pick has proven to be a reliable tight end for the team. Against the Eagles, Moreau had six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. He should get a lot of work in the passing game against Washington on Sunday.

Moreau hasn’t been able to do much this season when Waller plays. Outside of the Eagles game, he has six catches for 75 yards combined in 10 games. He’s clearly a talented tight end but Waller is the Raiders’ top offensive weapon so he’s going to get the most looks from quarterback Derek Carr. Even if Waller does play, Moreau will have a great opportunity to earn more targets against Washington.

Carl Nassib Also Out

While there’s still a glimmer of hope that Waller can play Sunday, the same can’t be said for defensive end Carl Nassib. Bisaccia said that he’s not going to suit up against Washington. He hurt his knee against the Cowboys, which forced him to leave early. He did not practice all week.

Nassib had a strong start to the season when he got a strip-sack on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in overtime that saved the win for the Raiders. Since then, he only has 0.5 sacks in the last 10 games. Considering the team is paying him $9.5 million this year, that’s simply not enough production. The Raiders haven’t put him on Injured Reserve yet so he should return soon and get a chance to turn his season around.

In the meantime, rookie pass rusher Malcolm Koonce could make his season debut. The third-round pick out of Buffalo has been a healthy scratch for every game this season. That could be concerning but the Raiders have gotten excellent play from their defensive line, which has mitigated the need to use Koonce. That could change on Sunday. If he does play, he’ll have to make the most of the opportunity as he may not get very many more chances this season.

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