Mario Edwards Jr. among injured Raiders limited in OTAs

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Mario Edwards Jr., who suffered a severe neck injury late last season, was on the field for the start of the Oakland Raiders' initial OTA practice on Tuesday but departed before team drills began.

Same with nose tackle Dan Williams and right tackle Austin Howard. Right tackle Menelik Watson appeared to be a full participant after suffering a torn Achilles' tendon last preseason.

Plus, first-round draft pick Karl Joseph, a strong safety from West Virginia who played in only four games last season due to a knee injury, worked out on a side field with a trainer while cornerback Neiko Thorpe, linebackers Neiron Ball and Malcolm Smith and tight end Clive Walford all watched the workout from the sidelines.

Meanwhile, new free safety Reggie Nelson, running back Roy Helu and defensive end Denico Autry were not seen during practice, which is technically optional.

All are assumed to be rehabbing various injuries, though coach Jack Del Rio loathes talking about injured players to the media. Still, he was asked if it was safe to say that Edwards, who declared himself healthy on social media recently, was being brought along slowly.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Del Rio said. “I don’t say much about injuries, you know how that goes. I would just say that the guys that aren’t working right now are doing everything they can to get back, to be back, to be a part of this. They’re all champing at the bit. They all want to go. There’s a process that has to take place for each of them to return. They’re all different.

“Because I don’t spend time going through any one, I’m not going to make Mario an exception. I would just say that they’re all here; they’re all working hard and eager to return. I think we feel good about being able to have all those guys join us at some point in, hopefully, not too far away.”