Raiders' Pro Bowl Tight End Misses Practice

Apparently, the Week 6 bye wasn't as restorative as the Las Vegas Raiders may have hoped. One-time Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller missed Wednesday's practice with a lingering hamstring injury. Waller exited early during Week 5's frustrating 30-29 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after only playing eight snaps. Head coach Josh McDaniels expressed optimism that Waller could return later in the week, but hamstrings can be unpredictable and finicky. Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has missed five straight games with his ailing hamstring despite being projected to return as early as Week 3.

Waller signed a three-year, $51 million extension in September, tying him to the Raiders through 2026. He has totalled a relatively modest 175 receiving yards at 7.3 yards per target over his five appearances this season, but it's possible he improves as he continues to learn and embrace the new scheme implemented by McDaniels, who is in his first year as Raiders' head coach.
Waller joined the Raiders in 2018 after entering the league as a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. Waller famously struggled with substance abuse issues throughout his youth and early years in the league, but he eventually overcame addiction and emerged as a dominant pass catcher in 2019. He has totalled 3181 receiving yards in 48 appearances with the Raiders over the past four seasons while remaining sober, solidifying himself as one of the league's feel-good stories.

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