The New York Giants are anxiously monitoring the health of their tight end Darren Waller, who pulled his hamstring only days before their Week 1 clash against the Dallas Cowboys. While Waller was fit enough to play and take on every snap given to him, he wasn’t targeted much. The Giants struggled to protect quarterback Daniel Jones, affecting their overall offensive output.
Waller Sheds Light on His Injury
Waller still struggles with the hamstring but clarified that it’s not muscle-related but rather a nerve issue. Encouragingly, this is different from the injury that sidelined him last year, keeping the Giants optimistic about his role in their offense.
“I still have people on working me, a team, and it wasn’t the same degree of strain as last year,” Waller said, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “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.”
Week 1 Performance: Signs of Life?
Despite the offense’s challenges, Waller managed three receptions on five targets for 36 yards. He likely would’ve been a major factor in the Giants’ game plan had they been able to execute more passing plays. They aim to capitalize on Waller’s abilities in Week 2 when they face the less intimidating Arizona Cardinals.
“I was able to go out there and do all the snaps they asked me to do and not have it affect me,” Waller 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.”
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Injury Management: What’s the Plan?
The Giants are focused on getting through the next few weeks without major setbacks for Waller, allowing him the time to fully recover. Injuries have been a recurring issue for Waller over the years, and the team expects this trend to continue. However, Head Coach Brian Daboll revealed that a team of sports scientists has been hired to develop tailored recovery plans for certain players.
Waller’s Paramount Role in the Giants’ Offense
Given that Waller is undergoing specialized rehabilitation procedures to maintain his fitness and considering that the Giants invested a third-round pick to acquire him, it’s clear how vital he is to the team’s offensive game plan. His presence on the field isn’t just valuable—it’s absolutely crucial.
Waller’s importance as a de facto WR1 in the Giants’ offense cannot be overstated. Ensuring he remains healthy and productive is a top priority, making his current hamstring issue a significant point of focus for the team.