HEDDERSON, Take it. — The Las Vegas Raiders placed a pair of Pro Bowl pass catchers in tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow on injured reserve Thursday.
Both Waller and Renfrow will miss at least four games, starting with Sunday’s home opener against the Colts, and won’t be able to return until the Raiders (2-6) play the Rams on Dec. 8.
Waller has been dealing with a strained left hamstring since the Week 5 loss to the Chiefs and has already missed Las Vegas’ last three games, while Renfrow has rib and hamstring injuries. Both players were listed as limited participants in Wednesday’s practice.
Waller (three years, $51 million) and Renfrow (two years, $32 million) both signed extensions in the offseason, but neither has been able to stay on the field this year. They had to work with All-Pro receiver Davant Adams, Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs and Pro Bowl running back Derek Carr to elevate the Raiders offense under new coach Josh McDaniel.
Instead, Las Vegas has lost three games in which it led 17-0, and the quintet has played in just three games combined so far. Waller, Renfrow, Adams and Jacobs have combined for just 43 snaps.
Waller told ESPN on Wednesday that no one is more upset about the injury than himself.
“It’s not like I’m doing anything to not be on the field willingly,” said Waller, who had tested his left hamstring in pregame practice the previous two weeks. “I’m doing the best I can. It just might not happen on the schedule I’d like it to happen.”
Waller was also dealing with a right hamstring issue that forced him to miss significant time during training camp. He has missed eight of Las Vegas’ last 14 regular-season games after suffering back and knee injuries in last year’s Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys.
Waller’s numbers pale in comparison to his previous output; he has just 16 catches for 175 yards and one touchdown this season. He had a franchise-high 107 catches for 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020, one year after having 90 catches for 1,145 yards and three TDs in 2019.
Renfrow suffered a concussion in the final game of the Raiders’ dramatic overtime loss to the Cardinals in Week 2 and missed the next two games. A year after 103 yards, 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns, Renfrow has just 21 receptions for 192 yards and zero carries this season.
Also on Thursday, the Raiders promoted linebacker Curtis Bolton from the practice squad to the active roster. They also signed running back Reggie Ragland to the practice squad and had Blake Martinez on the reserve/suspended list.