Raiders LB Blake Martinez suddenly retires, both TE Darren Waller and WR Hunter Renfrow land on IR

Thursday was a strange day for the Las Vegas Raiders.

After Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller landed on injured reserve due to lingering injuries, linebacker Blake Martinez announced he was retiring.

Martinez, 28, was in his seventh season in the league. He got his start with the Green Bay Packers, who first took him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of Stanford. After four seasons there, Martinez spent two years with the New York Giants before he landed in Las Vegas this past offseason.

Martinez was signed to the Raiders' practice squad in early October, and was quickly promoted to their active roster days later.

Martinez had 20 total tackles in four games this season. He had a team-high 11 tackles and played more than 90% of their snaps in their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

He didn't elaborate much on his decision, which was surprising midway through the season.

Blake Martinez
Blake Martinez suddenly retired on Thursday afternoon. (Eric Espada/Getty Images) (Eric Espada via Getty Images)

Darren Waller heads to IR

Waller isn’t coming back to the field anytime soon.

The Raiders placed their tight end on injured reserve Thursday due to his lingering hamstring injury, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The move will keep Waller out at least through their Dec. 4 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders expect Waller to return before the end of the season.

Waller has struggled with injuries in the past two seasons. After dealing with back and knee injuries last year, Waller sustained a hamstring injury in training camp and has missed the Raiders’ past three games after he left their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 10 after eight snaps.

In total, Waller has missed eight of the Raiders' past 14 regular-season games.

“It’s not like I’m doing anything to keep myself off the field willingly,” Waller said before landing on IR, via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “I’m doing everything that I can. It just may not be happening in the timetable I’d like for that to happen.

“So I’m just extending that grace and that patience to myself because I really am trying my best to be healthy and go about my processes and my routines like I have in the past.”

Waller has 175 receiving yards and one touchdown on 16 catches this season, his seventh in the league. The 30-year-old signed a three-year, $51 million extension before the season.

While his absence has been frustrating, the Raiders hope the extended break will give Waller time he needs to recover.

“It's very difficult to predict some of these things. Muscles and those kinds of things are always a little tricky, especially for a player that his No. 1 skill, or one of his certain top traits, is his ability to run and open up and go. There's no timetable,” head coach Josh McDaniels said, via ESPN.

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller is headed to injured reserve. (AP/Rick Scuteri) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Hunter Renfrow also on injured reserve

Las Vegas also added wide receiver Hunter Renfrow to the IR list due to an oblique injury, according to Schefter.

Renfrow first went down in Vegas' loss to the Jaguars last week. He'll now be out at least four games, marking another lost target for quarterback Derek Carr.

Renfrow has 192 receiving yards on 21 catches this season, his fourth with the team. The 26-year-old reached a two-year, $32 million extension before the season.

The Raiders, who have lost two straight, host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.