Walford secured one reception on one target for seven yards during Sunday's win over the Jets. Walford, who was on the field for just five offensive snaps in Week 1, saw seven more snaps (12) in Week 2 against a struggling Jets defense while hauling in his first catch of the season. With Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper and Jared Cook acquiring a majority of the targets from quarterback Derek Carr, Walford's role in the Raiders' aerial attack figures to remain limited in Week 3 against the Redskins.
Walford logged just five snaps in the Raiders' Week 1 victory over the Titans. Walford went essentially unused in the Raiders' offensive game plan, failing to see a target during the afternoon. Fellow tight ends Jared Cook and Lee Smith combined for 76 total snaps, with Cook catching five passes on as many targets for 56 yards. Walford's role figures to remain limited in Week 2 against the Jets while Cook continues to build more chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr.
Walford failed to catch his lone target during Saturday's preseason loss to the Rams. Walford was on the field for 15 offensive snaps during the Raiders' second preseason tilt, appearing behind starting tight ends Jared Cook and Lee Smith. Walford's positioning at No. 3 on the depth chart appears to be secure, though he could end up seeing more targets than Smith, who primarily serves as a blocker. With Cook healthy though, Walford's fantasy impact will likely be minimal.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie suggested Walford never fully recovered from the knee injury he suffered in an ATV accident last offseason, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A 2015 third-round selection, Walford didn't develop as expected in his second professional season, catching only 33 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns (on 52 targets) in 15 games. The stat line closely mimicked his rookie-year production as he continued to split work with Mychal Rivera in a passing game that was highly reliant on its wideouts. Rivera departed for Jacksonville in free agency, but the Raiders seemingly made an upgrade with the signing of Jared Cook, who likely will enter training camp as the favorite to serve as the team's No. 1 tight end. Walford could still push for the job if he regains his explosiveness and impresses during the offseason program.
Walford caught two of two targets for 16 yards during the Raiders' 27-14 loss to the Texans on Saturday. Walford fared better than most of his teammates with rookie Connor Cook under center (considering he racked up the fourth-most receiving yards on the team despite seeing just the seventh-most targets), but was still out-gained by No. 2 tight end Mychal Rivera. However, with Rivera set to hit the open market in the offseason, Walford could find himself in position to handle the bulk of the Raiders' receiving responsibilities from the tight end position in 2017.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|6||10/15||Los Angeles Chargers||15||6.00|
|7||10/20||Kansas City Chiefs||19||7.00|
|11||11/19||New England Patriots||28||12.00|
|13||12/03||New York Giants||27||11.00|
|14||12/10||@Kansas City Chiefs||19||7.00|
|17||12/31||@Los Angeles Chargers||15||6.00|
|3 Year Avg||51||30||344||3||20||11.47||52|