When the NY Giants traded a third-round pick to acquire Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders in March, no one questioned his ability on the field. However, concerns lingered regarding his injury history. Unfortunately, those concerns have materialized. Waller continues to grapple with a lingering hamstring injury that has surfaced intermittently since the 2022 season.
This time, it landed him on the injured reserve after a recent setback during the Giants' overtime loss to the New York Jets. Limited to just nine games last season and still fighting father time at 31 years old, Waller is no stranger to injury setbacks.
When previously asked about his current situation and the possibility of being placed on IR, Waller reflected on past experiences and was adamant about his intention to approach rehabilitation more judiciously this time around. This week, The Athletic's Charlotte Carroll got an injury update from him and Waller saying his return is in the 'early phases' is not want Big Blue supporters want to hear:
Darren Waller's hamstring injury continues to be an issue for the Giants
With Waller having missed two of the four required games after being placed on IR, only time will reveal his return date. Judging by his comments, it appears unlikely he'll be ready for the Dec. 11 game against the Green Bay Packers, the first one he's eligible to return to.
Stepping back and considering the broader picture from the Giants' perspective, there's no incentive to rush Waller back. Sporting a contract that surpasses any tight end's annual earnings in history, the Giants and Waller are already looking ahead to building a competitive team in 2024.
With Daniel Jones sidelined for the season and the team holding a 2-8 record, the Giants will exercise caution in reintegrating Waller into the lineup. Anticipate more challenges for Tommy DeVito and the offense without the dynamic pass-catcher available. When healthy, Waller was able to make an impact for this team, no one can question that.
His season was highlighted by a huge showing in the win over Washington -- he hauled in seven receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Not having Waller available is a problem for Brian Daboll and Co. Fans want him back in action, but there isn't a lot of optimism he'll be back on the gridiron soon.