LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller is celebrating three years of sobriety and is a living testimony on how to rise from rock bottom to Raider.
The tight end is a rising star in the NFL and you can’t miss him on the practice field.
The 6’6″ elite athlete can catch, run and block at a pro-bowl level. But, it’s his comeback story that resonates the most.
Waller was first suspended four games by the Baltimore Ravens for substance abuse in 2016. Another failed test landed him a year-long ban by the NFL in 2017. A change of scenery and lifestyle have paid off, literally and figuratively.
In 2019, Waller had 90 catches for 1,145 yards and a contract extension. More than anything, he is a beacon of light after darkness.
“You know me being clean is just breaking generational curses in my family. I feel like it’s changing what is cool amongst young people,” Waller lamented. “It means a lot to me now so I know a lot of people are looking at me for inspiration. That gives me energy as well.”
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden called the tight end a superstar.
“I know of two tight ends that got paid yesterday, we’re happy to have our guy. You can beat addiction if you just listen to Darren Waller and how he did it. He is a great source of leadership and proof that you can be great even though you’ve had some dark, dark times,” Gruden said.
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