Oakland Raiders: Mario Edwards participates in minicamp

Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. remained on the practice field as a participant in minicamp after a lengthy injury absence.

Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. wasn’t on schedule to fully participate in OTA’s in May and early June, but on the first day of minicamp the 2015 second rounder remained on the field after stretching to participate in drills for the first time this offseason. An encouraging sign that Edwards will be able to be a full participant in training camp and the preseason to prepare for his second NFL season.

Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Edwards remained on the practice field as a participant in drills following the team’s stretches on Tuesday morning. A good indicator that the promising defensive end is on the track to a speedy recovery.

Edwards’ injury status has been a point of concern for several months since suffering a neck injury in Week 15 against the Green Bay Packers. Some speculating over Edwards ever being able to play again before the former National Champion at Florida State began his steady recovery and rehab process.

Edwards is a vital part of a deep defensive line group that could be one of the best in the league if everyone is healthy and plays to their potential. With Aldon Smith out until the final weeks of the season with his one-year ban, the health of Edwards will be crucial to the Raiders presence on the outside edge. After replacing both Justin Tuck and Smith as Khalil Mack’s running mate on the opposite side of the Raiders pass rush, expect a healthy Edwards to continue to make a name for himself now that he is back on the practice field for minicamp.