ALAMEDA – Mario Edwards Jr. hasn’t been active on a football field in quite some time. Even a practice field, for that matter.
The Raiders defensive lineman injured his hip in the preseason opener at Arizona, which was back on Aug. 12.
He has been out since then, on injured reserve since the start of the regular season. He was eligible to practice after six calendar weeks and play after eight, but wasn’t quite ready despite the team’s original projections that he would be.
Head coach Jack Del Rio has been waiting for a green light clearing Edwards Jr. to practice.
He isn’t there yet, but is apparently getting closer. He posted an Instagram video on Thursday morning showing him running and cutting on a Raiders side field, pairing it with the caption including the phrase “first day on grass.”
Edwards Jr. has been rehabbing in the team’s performance center, but has apparently been allowed to ramp up activity.
That doesn’t mean he’s ready to practice right away, and may still be a ways from playing. There still isn’t a timetable for his return.
The Raiders could certainly use Edwards Jr. on the interior defensive line, where they have missed his presence as a pass rusher.
The Raiders are 9-2 and can therefore be patient with their young defender as he continues an extensive rehab that has gone on longer than most expected.
Here’s the Instagram post: