ALAMEDA — Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece escaped a scare when an injury to his right foot was not as significant as initially feared. He expects to be at full strength when the season opens next month.
Reece practiced fully Wednesday, two days after undergoing an MRI on the foot he injured during last week’s preseason game against Detroit. Reece would not disclose the official diagnosis of the injury, calling it only a “foot issue.”
Reece has missed just four games because of injury since becoming Oakland’s regular fullback in 2010 and said he never wants to be off the field. He admitted to some concern that he may need to miss time before getting the encouraging news earlier this week.
“It was a sigh of relief to know that it wasn’t as serious as they thought initially,” Reece said. “It was definitely a sigh of relief. It’s been feeling better every day. I had that one day of rest and it’s amazing what one day of rest will do for you when you haven’t had one in a while.”
Reece hurt his foot early in last Friday’s game and initially tried to continue playing before it became too painful. X-rays after the game were negative but Reece was forced to leave practice early Sunday when he didn’t feel quite right.
He underwent an MRI on Monday and was back at practice on a limited basis Tuesday before being able to do everything Wednesday.
“He looked pretty good running around, so I don’t expect that to be something that we’ve got to manage, but we’ll see as this thing moves along,” said coach Dennis Allen. “Obviously if it becomes a hindrance we’ll have to manage it, but if not, we’ll let him go out there and play.”
Allen wouldn’t say whether Reece will play in Friday night’s exhibition game at Green Bay. Reece said he always wants to play but will do whatever he is told by the coaching staff.
“If Coach tells me they don’t want to play me in a preseason game, I’ll respect their decision,” he said. “I want all of my teammates to know as a leader and captain of this team that if I’m able to play and help them win I’ll be out there, no matter if it’s a preseason game, Super Bowl, first week of the year, no matter what.”
While fullbacks are often minor players on most teams these days with the prevalence of three-receiver or multiple-tight-end sets, Reece is an integral part of the Raiders offense. A wide receiver in college, he has the ability to line up outside and take advantage of mismatches.