The New York Giants had very high hopes for tight end Darren Waller coming into the season. Many people lauded general manager Joe Schoen for the move, acquiring him from the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
It was not too long ago that Darren Waller was dominating opponents on a weekly basis. Teams were struggling to slow down his athleticism from the tight end position, as he caught 197 passes for 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2019 and 2020 combined.
Alas, part of the reason the Giants were able to acquire him at such a cheap price was that he has been unable to get close to those numbers in the last two seasons. Darren Waller has dealt with injuries, including a nagging hamstring issue. Disappointingly, that issue has resurfaced again.
Per Pat Leonard of The Daily News, Darren Waller revealed he is dealing with the same hamstring that led to him being placed on injured reserve last season. But, this time, the injury is slightly different.
“I still have people on working me, a team, and it wasn’t the same degree of strain as last year,” Waller said. “It more so has to do with the nerve that was behind it. So it’s not really a muscular issue. It was more so a little bit something different, like nerve-wise.”
That certainly isn’t encouraging as this sounds like an issue that will linger throughout the season. In Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys, Darren Waller caught only three passes for 36 yards, playing on 58 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
“I was able to go out there and do all the snaps they asked me to do and not have it affect me,” he said. “There were some running real deep down the field where it might nip a little bit, but as far as everything that was asked [of] me, I was fine.”
This will be something to keep an eye on throughout the season. The Giants acquired Darren Waller hoping that he could help elevate this passing offense to a new level as a go-to weapon for Daniel Jones.
A lingering injury, especially one that doesn’t allow Darren Waller to open up and run at full speed, is something that would derail the team’s plans right out of the gate.