The Las Vegas Raiders will be without a key offensive weapon during Sunday’s clash against the New Orleans Saints after the team revealed that star tight end Darren Waller would not be available. Waller is battling a hamstring that has kept him out since Week 5 and while the team was hopeful that he’d be ready to play against the Saints, it seems that won’t be the case after all. According to Adam Schefter, the Raiders feel that Waller is close to making a return, but was not ready enough to go during Sunday’s clash in New Orleans.

The Week 8 absence will mark the second consecutive game that Waller will be forced to miss while recovering from the hamstring injury. The Raiders had a bye in Week 6, but even with that additional rest, Waller isn’t quite ready to get back out onto the field just yet.

In his most recent appearance, Waller featured on just 13 percent of the Raiders’ snaps in a Week 5 loss vs. the Chiefs.

Not having Waller against the Saints will be a big blow, and likely means that more targets will be thrown in the direction of Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow.

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This season, Waller has 16 receptions for 175 yards across five games of action. He’s been targeted 24 times and has one touchdown on the year.

His next chance to play will come in Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Raiders will certainly be hopeful the veteran tight end will be able to take the field.

Last year, Darren Waller caught 55 receptions for 665 yards and two touchdowns.