Perhaps a testament to their glowing success this season, every member of the Oakland Raiders (7-2) was at least a limited participant in Thursday’s practice session as they prep to face the Houston Texans in Mexico City Monday night.
Oakland receiver Amari Cooper (back), running back Latavius Murray (ankle), center Rodney Hudson (knee), offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele (knee), cornerback Sean Smith (shoulder), and defensive tackle Stacy McGee (ankle) were all limited in the first sessions of Week 11, according to the team’s official website.
None of the injuries are new as Hudson, McGee, Osemele, and Smith were all listed in Week 9’s report prior to the Raiders 30-20 victory over the AFC West rival Denver Broncos. Only McGee was held out of the game. Smith was originally believed to be ruled out very early in Week 9 but he played and helped the improving defense hold Denver to only 299 total yards and forced two turnovers.
However, the Raiders have yet to reinstate defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. from injured reserve even though he’s been eligible to return for about a month and could have first played against Denver, according to The Mercury News.
The report stresses Oakland will have to designate Edwards, who injured his hip on Aug. 12 and hasn’t played all season, as the one player to return from IR and the team would then have three weeks to determine whether or not to elevate him to the active roster.
The injury has spoiled what could have been a breakout year for Edwards and the Raiders pass rush. Oakland is tied with Pittsburgh for last in the NFL with only 13 sacks with All-Pro Khalil Mack accounting for 7.0 sacks and McGee next up with 2.5.
On the other side of the field, the Texans are dealing with injuries of their own. Running backs Alfred Blue (calf) and Jonathan Grimes (illness) and wide receiver Jaelen Strong (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday and nine other players, including defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (wrist), leading running back Lamar Miller (ankle), and nose tackle Vince Wilfork (groin), were limited.
The two teams are expected to fly out Sunday night ahead of the “Monday Night Football” matchup at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.