On Friday afternoon the Ravens announced that tight end Darren Waller is suspended for at least on year following a violation of the NFL’s strict substance abuse policy.
Waller was gearing up to enter his third season in 2017, but that will now be put on hold. This marks the young tight end’s second violation in the past 365 days, as Waller served a four-game suspension last year. While the Ravens wait for the official suspension length to be handed down, Waller is allowed to participate in preseason practices and games according to league rules.
The 24-year-old begun his career as a wide receiver in 2015 before being converted to the tight end position last year. During these two seasons Waller caught just 12 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
With Dennis Pitta re-injuring his hip earlier this summer, the Ravens find themselves down another man at the tight end position. There has been a decent amount of tight end depth in recent years, but guys like Ben Watson, Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams have been plagued by injuries. 2015 fifth-round draft pick Nick Boyle has already been suspended twice for substance abuse violations, and if he is suspended again he will face a punishment similar in length to that of Waller.
Even with the addition of Jeremy Maclin, the Ravens offense still needs work. Money is tighter at this point for Baltimore but it might be wise to pick up another tight end just to ensure they have depth. We all know that there are more pressing needs like the offensive line, but we also saw what a depleted receiving core looked like in 2015.
Image Credit: Baltimore Sun