The Oakland Raiders defense has come up big the last two weeks, helping them earn victories over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos to give them sole possession in the AFC West.
At the end of fourth quarter and in overtime against Tampa Bay, the Raiders defense forced three-and-outs in the Buccaneers final three drives, and then against Denver they forced two key turnovers helping seal the victory.
In both of those games Oakland was without one of their best interior defensive lineman, Stacy McGee.
McGee was enjoying a breakout season before injuring his ankle in Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. After missing two games, McGee has returned to practice, via Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com:
DT Stacy McGee is back at practice today.
— Eddie Paskal (@EddiePaskal) November 10, 2016
The fourth-year pro had 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbled before going down with the injury.
The Raiders have a bye in Week 10, so it is likely that with a full week and a half of practice McGee will be able to return for the team’s Week 11 game against the Houston Texans.
While the return of McGee to the practice field was good news, the Raiders also received some bad news Thursday as defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. did not return to the practice field. Edwards Jr. was placed on injured reserve with a hip injury suffered in Oakland’s preseason opener on Aug. 12 and was eligible to return in Week 9 but has still not been able to return to practice.