Editor's note: The above video is from Nov. 3.
ALAMEDA -- Raiders defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. played just three snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. What happened on the second rep will keep Edwards out for the rest of this season at least.
The team placed their second-round rookie on injured reserve with a “significant” neck injury Wednesday afternoon, the eve of their Thursday night game against the San Diego Chargers.
That’s bad news for the Raiders and a player who made a real impact in his first NFL season.
“He had a significant injury, and we need to make sure we do what’s best for him first,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We’re hoping for the best, but we’re most concerned with him right now. With other things going forward, we’ll worry about that later.”
Edwards’ injury stems from a run play on Green Bay’s opening series. Edwards lined up on the right edge and locked horns with left tackle David Bakhtiari. Edwards beat his man to the inside lane and met running back Eddie Lacy in the hole. Looking at the game tape, Edwards’ neck dips down just under Lacy’s helmet -- it’s hard to see if there was helmet-to-helmet contact -- and then jolts back up after contact with linebacker Ben Heeney’s leg.
Edwards got up fine and participated in the next play, and the Raiders forced a punt. Edwards came off the field and never went back in. There is a high level of concern regarding the injury. As of early Wednesday afternoon, an exact diagnosis was not known.
Del Rio said the Raiders are trying to determine whether surgery is an option. That generally isn’t a good sign for injuries around the neck.
“I’m not sure (if he needs surgery),” Del Rio said. “They’re still trying to determine exactly how the treatment should proceed.”