ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. practiced Monday for the first time since going on injured reserve before the season began.
The Raiders have 21 days to either activate Edwards or shut him down for the season.
“We’ll begin that window where we’ll get him up to speed,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Monday in his weekly media conference before practice.
Edwards hurt a hip in the preseason opener at the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 12 and while he has been working with trainers, he did not start working out on grass until late last week, when he posted a video of himself on Instagram at the Raiders' facility.
Calling the injury a "freaky kind of situation," Edwards also said sitting out the first 12 games while rehabbing has been a "bittersweet" experience.
"I’ve wanted to be out there," he said in the locker room following Monday's walk-through practice, "but [it's] also sweet that we’re 10-2, so I’m kind of happy to get back on the field and kind of getting back in with the guys.
"Just to get back out there, the camaraderie and things like that, definitely felt good."
There are four games remaining in the regular season for the first-place Raiders (10-2) and they travel on a short week to face the second-place Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) on Thursday. Oakland’s last three games are at the San Diego Chargers, home against the Indianapolis Colts and at the Denver Broncos.
The Chiefs defeated the Raiders in October, 26-10, in Oakland.
Edwards, though, said there was no real timetable for getting him in a game, that he would take it day by day to see how his body responds, even as he was "foaming at the mouth" after watching Khalil Mack essentially end the past two games with strip-sacks and ensuing fumble recoveries against the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton and the Buffalo Bills' Tyrod Taylor.
"If it's bothering me, I'll ease off it," Edwards said of his hip.
"I want to be out there and play most of all, that’s No. 1. But No. 2, I always know my boys are going to bring it through at the end, whether it’s a nail-biter or we blow them out by 21 points."
Last week, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said the team hoped to gradually increase Edwards’ workload.
“As long as he’s asymptomatic, we’ll keep pushing the envelope with him,” McKenzie said. “But it’s totally on him and how he feels. Not only when he’s working out, but his process is the next morning (after) two or three days of on-the-field stuff.”
A second-round pick of the Raiders in 2015, Edwards had two sacks in 14 games last season before a neck injury ended his rookie campaign. He was working his way back into form this offseason when he was hurt against the Cardinals.