The Las Vegas Raiders are looking ahead to their Week 1 clash with the Los Angeles Chargers. The question is, will their star tight end, Darren Waller, be available? Head coach Josh McDaniels wasn’t too keen on his future.
The Raiders are hosting the New England Patriots in joint practices at their Henderson facilities this week. One of the players that’s been largely absent, not just this week but for most of the offseason, has been Waller. Obviously dealing with an injury, Waller has been the subject of much criticism, while others believe he was holding out for a new contract. Regardless, McDaniels was asked about Waller’s future pertaining to the opening week matchup.
Is Josh McDaniels optimistic about Darren Waller playing in Week 1?
While addressing the media, McDaniels pointed out that he’s not concerned about Waller’s health and his current progress. According to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez, McDaniels mentioned that Waller has been a team player, doing everything he can to get and stay up to speed.
“He’s doing everything he can to get back out there… I see him every day. He’s in every meeting.”
Interestingly enough, The Athletic’s Tashan Reed stated that McDaniels “wasn’t comfortable making a prediction about his status for the Raiders’ regular-season opener against the Chargers.” That doesn’t sound too confident or optimistic. By the same token, most Raiders fans should now be accustomed to the fact that this new Raiders brass keeps things tight. Even if McDaniels had a concrete timetable for Waller’s return, would he share it with the media? Doubtful.
If Waller can’t go against the Chargers, it will leave McDaniels with a few options at tight end. On the unofficial depth chart for the Raiders, you can see names like Foster Moreau, Nick Bowers, Jacob Hollister, and Jesper Horsted. Moreau has proven to be a reliable option and a red zone threat when needed. McDaniels would be fine for a week or two while Waller recovers, assuming this isn’t a lingering issue.
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