Raiders tight end Darren Waller went from being completely good to go on the Friday injury report to suddenly downgraded to questionable on Saturday. The fact that he had no injury status — which sent a clear message that he’s 100 percent — implied that something happened after practice on Friday, maybe even on Saturday.
Via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Waller “strained his inner ankle and heel” during practice on Friday after being tripped by a teammate. As Schefter explains it, “The Raiders considered the injury serious enough to list Waller as questionable for Sunday’s home game.”
That’s true, only to an extent. They didn’t list him as questionable on Friday, which seems odd given that the injury happened on Friday.
Schefter also reports that Waller “doesn’t ‘feel great,'” and his status for Sunday’s against the Eagles isn’t expected to be known until pre-game warmups. Which makes it sound like there’s a good chance he won’t play. Which makes it sound like maybe he should have been listed as doubtful on Friday or Saturday.
If he doesn’t play, the league could decide to explore why he wasn’t listed as questionable on Friday, and/or why he wasn’t listed as doubtful on Saturday. If, of course, the league cares about ensuring that injury reports are true, accurate, and complete.
There’s inside information everywhere, and anyone who knew the truth about the star tight end of the NFL franchise headquartered in Las Vegas before the Saturday downgrade may have been able to get an edge when betting on the game and/or the performance of players like Waller and his likely replacement, Foster Moreau.
The league doesn’t seem to currently care about these wrinkles. After the first big betting scandal happens and the Commissioner gets another letter from the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee, the NFL suddenly will.