Neither a hamstring injury nor contract talks will keep Darren Waller out of the lineup Sunday. The Raiders tight end said Tuesday he’s ready to play against the Chargers.
“Focus on Sunday, man. Focus on the game plan. Focus on what they ask me to do,” Waller said, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Waller practiced only twice between July 30 and Aug. 17 and then, after a one-day return, went back to rehab until Aug. 31. He has practiced every day since.
Some wondered whether he was holding in as a negotiating ploy for a contract extension, but Waller said the hamstring injury was real.
“Sometimes you just can’t catch a break,” Waller said. “Football is rough. It demands a lot on your body. I wish I could have been out there in the time that I missed, but at the same time, yeah, is it time for me to make sure that things are in line as far as my body? Make sure mentally I’m in a place of peace and I can attack the season now.”
Waller, who is due to make $7 million in compensation this season, changed agents this offseason. He said Tuesday he isn’t sure whether that will help the sides reach a deal or not.
“Whether it goes one way or it doesn’t, I’ll be playing football,” Waller said.