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Darren Waller won’t travel with team for Week 17

We break down the news that Darren Waller is on the COVID-19 list

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Allegiant Stadium.  Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Friday update: Waller won’t travel with the team to Indianapolis and will be out for Week 17, per Tashan Reed. Waller will need to get in practices after a long injury layoff before he can play, so even if he were somehow able to be cleared of COVID-19 protocols, he wouldn’t be able to play.

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller was getting close to finally returning to practice from his hip injury, but on Wednesday, he was placed on the COVID-19 list, per Anthony Galaviz. This, plus his injury make it likely impossible for a return this week.

Waller has been out due to his injury since Week 12, while the Raiders cling to playoff dreams, as they are tied with the Dolphins, Ravens, and Chargers at 8-7. Unfortunately, all three of those teams currently own the tie-breaker over the Raiders. Waller’s availability would have been a nice boon for the team.

Fantasy football implications

Foster Moreau has been the clear lead tight end with Waller out. His last two weeks have been his best, as he’s averaged 5.5 receptions on 6.5 targets for 66 yards. He has some appeal against the Colts, who have given up the fifth-most PPR fantasy points to tight ends this season.