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Del Rio still quiet on Edwards, who says he’s cleared to play

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Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. said he's cleared to return to football. (Raiders.com photo)

Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. said he’s cleared to return to football. (Raiders.com photo)

Mario Edwards Jr. may have announced that he’s cleared to return to football — via last week’s Instagram post and a recent radio interview — but coach Jack Del Rio still is keeping mum on his second-year defensive end.

“My philosophy on talking about guys that are injured is really not to,” Del Rio said Friday. “I love the way our team is working. I love having Mario be a part of that team that’s working hard. He’s a really good football player. We just don’t get into discussions about injured guys this time of year.”

Edwards joined SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday and spoke more about what he had already announced via social media.

“I’ve been busting my butt to rehab and because of the great training staff with the Oakland Raiders and everything, I was cleared and ready to play this year,” Edwards said.

Edwards suffered a neck injury in the Raiders’ Week 15 game against the Green Bay Packers last year and missed the final two games.

There had been some rumors and concerns that the injury could be career-threatening for the team’s 2015 second-round pick who was rounding out a promising rookie year. The team’s vagueness and lack of information, aside from general manager Reggie McKenzie suggesting the injury may be genetic, added to those concerns.

“Anything dealing with the neck, you’re going to always be a little scared,” Edwards acknowledged in the radio interview. “But I left it all in God’s hands and I prayed and I knew that He wouldn’t leave me out there like that.”

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.