ALAMEDA – Mario Edwards hasn’t played football in a long time. The Raiders defensive tackle injured his hip during the preseason opener and hasn’t seen a practice field since.
He was finally cleared to do some side work on Thursday morning, a milestone in a rehab that has taken far longer than many expected.
“It was a slower process,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said on Thursday. “The one thing you want to be is asymptomatic, even when you’re doing a little rehab with the trainers. But he wasn’t feeling right. Whatever little twinges of pain he had, we just scaled back that particular rehab process.
“It was all on him. The injury was healing and has healed now. A lot of it is a different feel for him. I’m sure hadn’t ever been hurt there, and there’s a lot of stuff he had to get through.”
Edwards Jr. is on injured reserve and hasn’t yet designated to return or been given the green light to practice. He would be eligible to play right away, though he would need some extended practice time to get back in the flow.
The Raiders hope his rehab will accelerate in coming days and weeks, as they try to get their much-needed interior defensive lineman back on the field before season’s end.
“As long as he’s asymptomatic, we’ll keep pushing the envelope with him,” McKenzie said. “But it’s totally on him, not only when he’s working out but, as this process is early, it’s the next morning and putting together two or three days of on-the-field stuff. Hopefully he’ll graduate again.”