Conspiracies are running wild regarding Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller. Whether or not people believe he’s as injured as he claims or if his heart is still in it, in fact, it got so bad that people thought quarterback Derek Carr was picking on Waller. If you recall, Carr questioned the commitment of some of his teammates in the midst of a losing streak. The quarterback had to talk to his tight end thereafter. Raiders fans will run with anything if it feeds their personal opinion; that’s natural. However, the last person that people should be giving credence to is Dr. David Chao.
In case you missed it, Chao was on Raider Nation Radio with Q Myers this week, where he was consulted on Waller’s injury. Essentially, the physician commented that the entire situation surrounding Waller “doesn’t add up.” In addition, Chao stated, “We just don’t know what it is. [He came] to training camp, played some, got a contract, played some, and then was out. He was then added late to [injured reserve]. It doesn’t all add up. I don’t want to speculate. I think we all see that it doesn’t add up completely, but there’s usually an explanation, and I think ultimately it will come out.”
Unfounded speculation doesn’t help Darren Waller or the Raiders.
It’s rather strange that a station with the Raiders’ namesake would have such an unqualified doctor weigh in. We all know the circumstances around Waller have been unique. Hamstring injuries can be both nagging and prolonged if not handled properly. It’s entirely plausible that the team is simply exercising extreme caution with their star tight end. Sometimes, there’s no story there, even if you keep changing up the questioning.
Jerry McDonald, a respected journalist that covered Raiders in the Bay Area, also questioned the entire deal with Chao.
“There are few things [lamer] than someone behind a keyboard and no direct knowledge wondering from a distance whether an NFL player is really hurt or not. If you’ve ever stood on the sidelines of an NFL game at any point, you’d never ask that question.”
For those of you not familiar with his name, Chao was, at one point, being investigated by the California Medical Board. They believed that his medical license should’ve been revoked back in 2013. Nearly two dozen former patients were suing him back then; they all alleged fraud and malpractice, among other things. He was the Chargers’ team physician for nearly 15 years. In another tragic turn, he was also at the center of Junior Seau’s suicide back in 2012, as he had been prescribing him sleep medicine. Basically, maybe consider the source of speculation sometimes, especially if you’re a media outlet.
*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images