Darren Waller is unlikely to be in uniform when the Giants face the Raiders, nixing the Week 9 reunion encounter. The veteran tight end also cited his last Raiders season in pointing to a potential multiweek absence this year.
Once again battling a hamstring injury, Waller said he expects to be out “weeks,” per the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard. Referring to this latest hamstring malady as one that “might take a little bit” to heal, Waller expects to miss time. While Waller has appeared on the Giants’ injury report with groin and hamstring trouble this season, he has played in every game this season.
But the talented tight end referenced his 2022 hamstring injury, one that caused him to miss eight games last season, regarding his potential plans for rehabbing this latest ailment. Waller, 31, said (via The Athletic’s Dan Duggan) he rushed back from last season’s hamstring injury, which caused him to be shut down again. Waller missed three games but appeared close to returning midway through last season, but an aggravation led to the Raiders placing him on IR. Waller spent five weeks on IR. The Raiders then expressed frustration with Waller during his stay on IR; the team parted ways with him via the March trade.
The Raiders swiftly bailed on the power structure that jettisoned Waller, who had been a key performer for the team during the Jon Gruden years. The Josh McDaniels–Dave Ziegler regime still extended Waller just before the start of last season, after an aggressive push — which included an agent change — by the Pro Bowl tight end. The Raiders traded Waller for the No. 100 overall pick this year and replaced him by drafting Michael Mayer in Round 2.
Effectively punting on the tight end position following Evan Engram‘s Jaguars defection, the Giants have Waller signed through 2026. While they could have moved on free of charge after this season, an offseason restructure will prevent that. Talk of a future separation are premature, as Waller has helped a struggling offense this year. His 384 receiving yards lead the Giants; he caught seven passes for 98 yards in their win over the Commanders.