Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. has been placed on injured reserve with a hip injury. Edwards sustained the injury in Oakland’s preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals, and the prognosis was that he would return in four to six weeks.
Being placed on injured reserve pushes that recovery time back by a few weeks, but he would be eligible to return to the team after six weeks of the regular season.
Then, the Raiders would have three weeks to decide whether or not he will return to the practice field and the 53-man roster, which he no longer counts toward while he is on the reserve list.
Edwards, 22, was a second-round pick by the Raiders in 2015. He had an excellent rookie season, showing his versatility with a high level play at both defensive end and defensive tackle. He recorded 42 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 forced fumbles before sustaining a neck injury that cost him the final two games of his rookie season.
The Raiders have been kind of a mess in recent history, but strong drafting on both sides of the ball have led them to fielding a team that looks like it could be a force this season. Defensively, they are led by defensive end Khalil Mack, and that side of the ball looks to be a strength. It will be even stronger if and when Edwards returns to action later this year.
The NFL previous instituted an injured reserve designation for players eligible to return, but rather than create a separate designation, teams are simply allowed to choose one player who been on injured reserve for at least six weeks and active him to practice.
Edwards would be eligible to return to practice after six weeks and for game action after eight, when the Raiders play the Denver Broncos at home. He will miss action in multiple key games, including rivalry matchups with the AFC West’s San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.