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Injury update: Report and return dates for Giants

The New York Giants faithful hasn’t seen or heard from tight end Darren Waller in a while, but in Week 14, the star playmaker’s injury was finally disclosed.

The news was announced on X by ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, who said that Waller is “making progress” with his hamstring injury, which has put him on injured reserve. Giants did not rule out opening his 21-day window this week, but it is more likely not to happen than anything else. Waller appears to have a realistic goal of next week.

Raanan did go on to say, “It will be crucial that he makes it through a full week of practice and is 100%, given his history with hamstring problems.” With a loss, his season would probably end with 36 receptions for 384 yards and one touchdown.

Nevertheless, the “bottom line” provided by the NYG insider was that Waller “can be back next week vs. [the New Orleans] Saints.”

Later, on December 6, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post verified Raanan’s injury update and reported that Waller had informed the media that he was targeting a return in Week 15.

Giants Have Interesting Decision to Make on Darren Waller in 2024

When the Giants traded for Waller, using some of the draft capital they had acquired in the Kadarius Toney trade, they were taking a chance. After all, the offense needed playmakers, and the former tight end for the Las Vegas Raiders was expected to help address that weakness.

Even though Big Blue made a respectable effort, Waller’s first year was a complete disaster. According to Over the Cap, the veteran’s cap hit was reasonable in 2023 (roughly $4.5 million). However, that amount rises to almost $14.5 million in 2024 and continues to rise gradually after that.

384 receiving yards and one touchdown is not worth that type of cap charge.

Given Daniel Bellinger’s consistency, it also raises the question of whether the Giants can just start the former draft pick in the starting lineup for the upcoming season while choosing a new tight end to develop behind him in April.

If the Giants were to trade or release Waller after June 1, Over the Cap cites minor dead cap charges of $2.45 million and change over each of the next three seasons. The injury-prone 31-year-old is therefore a serious prospect for the future, depending on the path the team chooses to take in 2024.


Giants ‘Hopeful’ for Dexter Lawrence Return, Evan Neal Unlikely to Play vs. Packers

Before the game against the Green Bay Packers, there was also an update on the status of star defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence of the Giants (hamstring).

With the Monday night game providing some extra time, head coach Brian Daboll expressed to reporters his “hopefuly” that Lawrence would be able to return to practice later this week. Dan Duggan of The Athletic says there is less chance that right tackle Evan Neal (ankle) will make a comeback.

Duggan said on X, “It appears that Neal will miss his fourth straight game and his sixth in seven games. No such hope expressed on Neal.”

At Wednesday’s practice, New York Daily News reporter Pat Leonard noted that Neal was “working on the side” while Lawrence was “doing some light work on his own in the back under the goal posts.”

On December 5, Lawrence informed Leonard about his injury and said, “Gradually getting better every day.” “It felt good to work on the field today.”

The veteran quarterback Matt Barkley was back in attendance on December 6th, even after being released, which the Daily News beat writer noted. This suggests that the Giants will re-sign Barkley to the practice squad as anticipated.

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