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Oakland Raiders place Mario Edwards (neck) on IR

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Mario Edwards Jr. promising rookie season is suddenly over.

The Raiders on Wednesday placed the first-year defensive end on injured reserve with a neck injury, the team announced.

"He had a significant injury," coach Jack Del Rio told reporters. "We want to make sure we do what's best for him first. Just hoping for the best. But (we're) really most concerned with him right now. Other things going forward, we'll worry about that later. But it's significant, what he has."

Asked if the pass rusher would require surgery, Del Rio said: "I'm not sure of that. I think they're still trying to determine how the treatment should proceed."

Edwards left Sunday's loss to Green Bay just a few snaps into the contest after appearing to twist his neck while shedding a block on a run by Packers back Eddie Lacy.

"Mario seemed optimistic, he just had to see what the actual issue was," defensive tackle Dan Williams said Wednesday. "He has this thing going on with his neck but we don't know the extent of the seriousness. But he was walking, talking, cool. Just being his regular self -- joking with us."

The second-rounder out of Florida State finished with 2.5 sacks this year but those numbers don't describe how disruptive he's been over the past two months. Edwards has emerged as a valuable piece of the puzzle for an Oakland defense that will now rely on Denico Autry and Benson Mayowa to pick up the slack on Thursday night against the flailing San Diego Chargers.

The hope in Oakland is that Edwards can bounce back in Year 2 to make the same wild leap we've seen from Khalil Mack during his rousing 2015 campaign. 

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