The Las Vegas Raiders are hoping to get star tight end Darren Waller back for their crucial season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Interim coach Rich Bisaccia said Waller will be a game-time decision for the Raiders (9-7) in their showdown at home on Sunday night against the Chargers (9-7). The winner of that game is assured of a playoff spot, while the Raiders can also get in with losses by both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.
Waller hasn’t played since getting injured in the second quarter of a win on Thanksgiving at Dallas. He was set to try to come back last week before testing positive for COVID-19 but now has a chance on Sunday night after being limited in practice all week.
”We’re really just waiting for each morning to show up to see what his soreness level is and how he feels that he could possibly get through it,” Bisaccia said. ”If he does go and play for us, we’re certainly going to be cognizant of where his cardio is and take as much information from him, not only in the game, but we have from practice as well to the reps that he gets.”
The Raiders have won the past three weeks without Waller to remain in contention but the offense has averaged only 16 points per game in the five full games he has missed in this stretch.
Waller has caught more passes (243) from quarterback Derek Carr than any other player in Carr’s career and would provide a major boost to the offense.
Despite missing six-plus games this season, Waller is still second on the Raiders with 53 catches and 643 yards to go along with his two TDs. Since becoming the starting tight end for the Raiders in 2019, Waller ranks second in the NFL at the position with 250 catches for 2,984 yards.
Bisaccia also said running back Josh Jacobs (ribs) and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (back) are questionable for Sunday after being limited in practice.
Jacobs got hurt last week at Indianapolis but returned to the game, while Hankins has missed the last two games.
Cornerback Casey Hayward was added to the injury report with an ankle injury Friday and is also questionable.
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