Mario Edwards Jr left the Raiders week 15 game against the Packers with a neck injury. Any kind of neck injury is a concern, but Edwards himself is optimistic he will recover from it and return to form.
"Can't hold me down for long... as long as I got God & family I can't go wrong minor set back for MAJOR come back believe that." Edwards said on his Instagram account last week.
As you can see in the photo he posted, he is sporting a neck brace, so clearly some rehabilitation is needed, though whether that includes surgery is unknown.
Head coach Jack Del Rio was left to wonder and attempt to answer questions about the status of his rookie star's neck -- questions to which he didn't have answers to give. His teammates were hopeful, but no one knew for sure.
The second round pick had begun to show why the team chose him in the draft. He lost a lot of weight since his Florida State days and was a force against the run as well as as a pass rusher. He took over for Justin Tuck when Tuck was lost to injury and Edwards looked like an upgrade over the veteran defender. As a result, Mel Kiper named him to his All Rookie first team which was released today.
If he is healthy, he could be a stalwart on the Raiders defensive line for a while.