The Las Vegas Raiders are back in the win column with a gutsy win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. Fresh off a three-game losing streak, not many people expected them to pull off the win. It took some drama and overtime to make it happen but the Raiders are winners and back over .500 with a 6-5 record.
However, it wasn’t all good news for the team as star tight end Darren Waller was forced out of the game in the second quarter with a knee injury. He tried to return to the game before the end of the first half but came out in street clothes when the third quarter started and was ruled out.
The Raiders didn’t have anything to say about the extent of the injury after the game so fans are left to speculate. Dr. David J. Chao had a chance to take a look at the play in which Waller was injured. The TV broadcast said that Waller had a bone bruise. That has yet to be confirmed but if it is the case, Chao believes that it will keep the tight end could be out for multiple weeks.
Waller already missed one game earlier in the season against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Raiders won that game 33-22.
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Can Raiders Stay in Playoff Hunt Without Waller?
After Sunday’s 32-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, it looked like the Raiders season could be over. They suffered three straight ugly losses and were playing uninspired football. Luckily for them, the AFC is wide open this year and the win over the Cowboys puts the Raiders right back in the playoff hunt.
Waller is the team’s best offensive weapon so not having him for any period of time could be an issue. They’ve proven this season that they can win without him but there’s no way to know if they can do it consistently. The Raiders will have to eagerly wait to see how Waller’s doing after further tests. The team does have a few extra days off before playing the Washington Football Team at home next Sunday.
Time for Foster Moreau to Step Up
Foster Moreau has played in every game for the Raiders this season but only has one game with more than three catches. That game came against the Eagles when Waller was out and he had six catches for 60 yards. Moreau isn’t as good as Waller but he’s a more than capable tight end.
If Waller is forced to miss time, the Raiders will still have a good threat at tight end. Moreau can make some plays when the team needs him to. The wide receiver corps showed some signs of life against the Cowboys. If those players keep playing well, it’s less important to have a dominant tight end. Waller is tough and the fact that he wasn’t ruled out of the game immediately after his injury is a positive sign. The Raiders just need to stay afloat until he gets healthy again.