ALAMEDA – Khalil Mack made several key plays in Sunday’s victory over Carolina. The Raiders edge rusher had a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and scored a touchdown in that one.
His strip sack secured victory late in the fourth quarter, where he worked through a double team, avoided a chip block and got to the quarterback.
“Great desire,” head coach Jack Del Rio said during his Monday press conference. “He just collapsed that tackle, really nullified the chip just by powering that guy and took the ball away and then recovered it. It was a great play.”
It wasn’t the only one. His interception returned for a touchdown was also top-flight, and showcased great agility for someone Mack’s size.
“That was a great play right before halftime when he reached up (and intercepted Cam Newton’s pass),” Del Rio said. “It was like the reflexes, like a tiger playing with a ball. Somebody threw a ball, he just snatched it and goes in and scores and jumps rather easily. I know I couldn’t get halfway up that wall. He jumped into The Black Hole. That was pretty cool.”
Edwards Jr. still expected back: Raiders defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. has been out a long time. He got hurt in the preseason opener and hasn’t played since. The team originally expected him to return off injured reserve by now, but the second-year pro hasn’t practiced due to the injury.
Del Rio said the Raiders still expect him back. They can afford to be patient while sitting atop the AFC at 9-2.
“Until he gets cleared it’s just kind of wait and see,” Del Rio said.
Injury update: Cornerback David Amerson didn’t play on Sunday due to a knee injury. There was some uncertainty about his health leading up to kickoff and the Raiders chose to be cautious. Del Rio hopes Amerson can return for next week’s game against Buffalo. He did not provide updates on DJ Hayden, who injured his hamstring in Sunday’s game.