Waller (undisclosed) was sidelined during OTAs, ESPN's Jamison Hensley reports.
Waller joins a long list of Ravens tight ends that are dealing with injuries as Ben Watson (Achilles), Crockett Gillmore (shoulder) and Maxx Williams (knee) weren't available for OTAs either. However, it isn't clear what kind of injury he's dealing with or if he'll be back in time for training camp.
Waller finished the season with 10 receptions on 17 targets for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
The Ravens had a logjam at tight end for much of the season, with Dennis Pitta serving as the only reliable contributor at the position on a weekly basis. Waller didn't make his season debut until Week 5 and didn't see his first targets until his fourth appearance. That said, Waller began to capitalize on his limited opportunities as the season wore on, snaring just under 60 percent of his targets and converting two of them for touchdowns. Although his target volume and overall production don't jump off the page, it's worth noting that seven of his 17 targets (41 percent) came in the red zone. While that isn't much of a sample size, it's worth comparing that to Pitta's red zone target rate of 10.7 percent. Waller has the size (6-6, 245) and testing numbers, which include a 4.46 40-yard dash and 37-in vertical jump, to make him a red zone threat in the Ravens' passing attack. Given that quarterback Joe Flacco will not have major targets Steve Smith and possibly Kamar Aiken at his disposal, Waller could have some deep sleeper potential in 2017.
Quarterback Joe Flacco showed some trust in the young tight end Monday as he went to Waller on back-to-back plays in the red zone in the third quarter, the second of which resulted in a touchdown. While Waller may have more pass-catching upside than counterpart Nick Boyle, Boyle still has the edge on him in terms of playing time thanks to his utility as a run blocker. Waller's touchdown Monday may earn him a slight uptick in snaps, but Dennis Pitta remains the
Waller caught one of two targets for 15 yards in Sunday's win over the Dolphins.
Both Waller and fellow second-year tight end Nick Boyle each saw 28 snaps and two targets Sunday while Dennis Pitta saw the most playing time among that position group. Since being added to the active roster, Waller has pulled in seven of nine targets for 60 yards. Depending on when Crockett Gillmore returns,there could be a logjam at tight end behind Dennis Pitta given that Boyle has already started to see a slight uptick in snaps since being reinstated from his suspension.
Waller could see his first action of the 2016 regular season Sunday against the Redskins after serving a four-game suspension. Dennis Pitta and Crockett Gillmore figure to continue serving as the top two options in the pecking order at tight end despite Waller's return.
|P2||8/17/17||@ MIA||7:00 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ NO||8:00 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ JAC||9:30 am|
|5||10/8/17||@ OAK||4:05 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/19/17||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ PIT||8:30 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ CLE||1:00 pm|