There's officially concern for the Raiders offense going into Sunday's home game against the Eagles as Vegas will be without arguably their top pass catcher. Darren Waller has been listed as in an inactive for Sunday's game, just two days after he didn't receive an official designation on the team's injury report.
Waller was downgraded to questionable by the Raiders on Saturday, raising concern if the Pro Bowl tight end would be able to play Sunday. The Pro Bowl pass catcher missed practice Wednesday, with Las Vegas deeming it a rest day, before returning in full Thursday, then practicing on a limited basis Friday due to ankle and knee injuries.
The 29-year-old Waller hadn't missed a game in three years, playing all 16 in both 2019 and 2020 -- both of which saw the former Ravens backup break out with 1,000-yard seasons. This year, he's off to a similarly hot start, leading Las Vegas with 33 catches for 378 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders have officially designated his injury-report status as "NIR (not-injury-related)/knee/ankle," so it's unclear what exactly has thrown the tight end's Week 7 availability in doubt.
Waller has long been one of quarterback Derek Carr's favorite targets, which marks a blow to the Raiders offense. That's doubly true because of the tight end depth chart. Backups Nick Bowers and Derek Carrier are both already ruled out of Sunday's game due to injuries, with Carrier on injured reserve, leaving only No. 2 option Foster Moreau on the active roster. The 24-year-old Moreau has caught four passes for 53 yards this year, though he also has 11 games of starting experience.
Fantasy Football Impact
"(His) addition to the injury report Saturday is certainly something to be concerned about, given the late addition," said Chris Towers of "Fantasy Football Today." "Waller has been the team's top target in the passing game throughout the season, and his absence would likely put more pressure on the likes of Hunter Renfrow, Henry Ruggs III, and Bryan Edwards to step up. Renfrow and Ruggs would be in the WR3 discussion while Edwards would be more of a desperation starter, albeit a pretty interesting one given his efficiency in a limited role this season. Foster Moreau would be an interesting tight end streamer, given his success in the red zone in the past and his plus athleticism, though you can't just assume he'll be a one-for-one replacement for Waller."
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