Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece escaped a scare when an injury to his right foot was not as significant as initially feared and he expects to be at full strength when the season opens next month.
Reece was a full participant at practice on 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 some 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 on 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. Reece is wearing a walking boot on his right foot while away from the field.
“When I watched him out there today running around, 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. But I didn’t notice anything today.”
Allen wouldn’t say whether Reece will play in Friday night’s exhibition game against 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.”
Reece said he expected to get some rest next week when many starters will get the final preseason game against Seattle off and hopes to be 100 percent for the season opener against the New York Jets on Sept. 7.
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 converted wide receiver in college, Reece has the ability to line up outside and take advantage of mismatches against slower linebackers or use his size to exploit smaller defensive backs.
Reece had 46 carries for 218 yards and caught 32 passes for 331 yards last season, scoring four touchdowns overall. He lost weight this offseason in hopes of being faster and the Raiders were hoping to use him even more on offense in 2014.
NOTES: Allen said no decision has been made on whether backup QB Derek Carr will play Friday after leaving last week’s game with a concussion. … TE Scott Simonson has been cleared to play after suffering a concussion, while WR Brice Butler still must pass an additional test before he can play. … OL Matt McCants and DL Justin Ellis remain sidelined by concussions. … The Raiders re-signed K Kevin Goessling and waived-injured S Jeremy Deering.