ALAMEDA – Raiders defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. completed his third practice week since resuming football activity in Week 14.
He looks agile in portions open to the press, often working with names you know. Head coach Jack Del Rio declined to say whether Edwards Jr. would be activated off injured reserve as expected.
“We’ll work through that,” Del Rio said after Thursday’s practice. “He has had a good week of practice. We have to make a (roster) move before we activate him and play him, but he has had a good week.”
The Raiders would likely do that Friday, a day before Saturday’s home game against Indianapolis. While there was no declaration of intent, Edwards Jr. packed a bag loaded with game equipment along with the rest of his healthy teammates.
All signs point toward Edwards Jr. being active to play the Colts. That would give him two regular-season games to ramp up activity and prepare for higher snap counts in the playoffs.
The Raiders wanted to see consecutive weeks without a setback for Edwards Jr., returning from a hip injury suffered four-plus months ago in the preseason opener. He was placed on injured reserve at regular season’s start, and a slow rehab has prevented him from returning sooner.
Ultimately, Edwards Jr. must be confident his hip is ready for game action before the Raiders bring him off of injured reserve.
Edwards Jr. would likely be used as a rotational player at defensive tackle and end if activated, especially as an interior rusher on passing downs. Edwards Jr. is a versatile piece with the talent to be an impact player along the Raiders defensive front.
The second-year pro’s 21-day practice window has almost closed. The Raiders designated him to return a while ago, and must activate Edwards Jr. by Dec. 26 or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
Edwards Jr. is not technically on the active roster, so he isn't list on the injury report. Several others are. Here's a full participation report, which shows left guard Kelechi Osemele's return to practice. The Raiders won't announce their official injury report until Friday.
Colts participation report
Did not practice: OLB Chris Carter (shoulder), OLB Erik Walden (not injury related)
Full participation: OL Denzelle Good (concussion), S Mike Adams (not injury related), CB Vontae Davis (not injury related), RB Frank Gore (not injury related), OLB Robert Mathis (not injury related), QB Andrew Luck (shoulder, thumb), CB Rashaan Melvin (knee), WR Donte Moncrief (hamstring), OT Joe Reitz (back)
Raiders participation report
Did not practice: S Karl Joseph (toe), DT Stacy McGee (ankle)
Limited participation: OL Kelechi Osemele (ankle), LB Shilique Calhoun (knee), WR Amari Cooper (shoulder), WR Michael Crabtree (finger), DT Darius Latham (ankle), LB Perry Riley (hamstring), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)
Full participation: QB Derek Carr (right finger)