A touchdown on Thursday night meant a little extra for Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller.
With Derek Carr out after sustaining a groin injury, back-up Marcus Mariota connected with Waller on an impressive 35-yard pass. Waller soon got up and made a “3” and “4” gesture with his hands, though the angle made it hard to see.
The meaning wasn’t immediately apparent to Fox’s broadcasters, but one of Waller’s old teammates with the Baltimore Ravens immediately saw the tribute to the late Lorenzo Taliaferro:
S/O to Darren Waller for throwing up the 34 for Zo!! 🙏🏾
— Justin Forsett (@JForsett) December 18, 2020
Taliaferro died of undisclosed causes at the age of 28 on Wednesday.
Waller and Taliaferro overlapped for two seasons in Baltimore, with both going through their own struggles. Nagging foot injuries prevented Taliaferro from appearing in more than three games in either season following an encouraging rookie year, while Waller’s struggles with addiction during his time with the Ravens are well-known.
Waller eventually got his life together and is now starring for the Raiders, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten his old teammates in Baltimore.
The catch was one part of a historic night for Waller, who finished with nine catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. Per NFL Research, Waller joins Shannon Sharpe, Kellen Winslow and Todd Christensen as the only tight ends to post 150 yards or more in multiple games during a season.
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