In a somewhat surprising development, the New York Giants added their star tight end acquisition, Darren Waller, to the injury report on Friday afternoon due to hamstring tightness. After feeling discomfort during practice, Waller alerted the coaching staff, leading to his “questionable” designation for the Giants’ highly anticipated Week 1 showdown against the Dallas Cowboys.
Waller’s Significance and Current Health Status
Waller is expected to be a cornerstone of the Giants’ offense this season, making his health a critical factor. Early Sunday morning reports are optimistic, indicating that he is likely to take the field against Dallas, although some irritation remains. Waller managed to go through training camp and the preseason unscathed, making the timing of this issue rather inconvenient.
A Look Back: Waller’s Performance and Injury History
Waller’s last standout season was in 2020, where he secured 107 receptions at a 76.4% reception rate, racking up 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns. His performance dipped in 2022, recording only 28 catches for 388 yards and three touchdowns, largely due to recurring hamstring injuries. Given his past issues, the Giants are approaching the situation with extra caution. Waller is currently on a $4.5 million cap hit after being acquired from the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for a third-round draft pick. The team is counting on WR1-level production from him, provided he stays healthy.
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Waller’s Potential Impact on Daniel Jones and the Offense
The addition of Waller could be a game-changer for the Giants, particularly for quarterback Daniel Jones, who hasn’t had a pass-catcher of Waller’s caliber before. A fully operational Waller would offer an element in the passing game that the Giants haven’t had for years, with Jones standing to be the prime beneficiary.
Don’t Overlook Other Giants’ Playmakers
While Waller occupying the top tight end spot would certainly give the Giants an offensive jolt, let’s not forget about the team’s other playmakers. They’ve shown promise this off-season and are more than capable of stepping up.
The Waller situation is one to watch closely as the Giants head into the first week of the NFL season. His availability could tip the scales in what promises to be an electrifying opening game against the Cowboys.