Editor's Note: The above video is from a media session on Nov. 3, 2015.
SAN FRANCISCO – Mario Edwards Jr.’s rookie season ended with a mysterious neck injury that doesn’t have much clarity a few months after the fact. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie didn’t have a true progress report on the 2015 second-round pick, who got hurt during a Week 15 loss to Green Bay.
The injury was termed significant without much of a formal diagnosis. McKenzie still didn’t have one, though he should have a better grasp of the situation soon.
“He has to have a series of tests over the next month or so,” McKenzie said on Tuesday. “Once that happens, we’ll have some more answers. Right now, it’s still the same. We just don’t know.”
McKenzie said the football injury allowed doctors to discover a pre-existing condition that the Raiders hope improves as weeks go by.
“It’s taking time because it was an issue that he’s had or something he was born with,” McKenzie said. “It’s not like something that’s happened. You could call it genetic or whatever, but he’s had it since his youth. They’re trying to figure out if time will help and really figure out a proper prognosis after time goes by. He’s playing the waiting game just like we are. I wish could give more information because I wish I knew. I want to know, like, yesterday.”
[RELATED: McKenzie: After retirements, new Raiders leaders will rise]
The Raiders hope to find some answers soon. They need to know if Edwards Jr. must be replaced. The team hoped the Florida State alum would be a heavy contributor in his season after showing real flashes of talent during a rookie season where he had 42 tackles, two sacks and three forced fumbles. If he can’t go, the Raiders must find someone else to pair with All-Pro Khalil Mack along the defensive line.
Edwards Jr. hasn’t spoken publicly and his camp hasn’t shined light on the situation, though a few of his Instagram posts featured the phrase, “A minor setback before a major comeback.”
McKenzie wasn’t ready to contemplate whether the issue could be career threatening.
“Anything is a possibility, but I’m going to let the doctors fill me in on stuff like that,” McKenzie said. “He’s a great person and a great player. I don’t even want to think about those things right now.”