ALAMEDA, Calif. - Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece had a lengthy explanation for his four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing drugs. Reece said an internal chemical reaction from a legal plant root extract caused it to become an illegal substance.
Reece said he used "Umcka," which he described as a "completely safe substance that is legal by NFL policy." After ingestion, Reece said, it converts to metylhexanimine, which is an illegal substance.
According to Reece, the appeal stated, "the NFL does not contend that Mr. Reece intentionally violated the policy and it is clear Mr. Reece did not intend to do so."
--Mum has been the organizational word regarding a neck injury sustained by second-round draft pick Mario Edwards Jr., who was placed on injured reserve. Head coach Jack Del Rio said the Raiders were still in the process of getting all the facts.
Teammate Khalil Mack, however, seemed optimistic that Edwards' injury would not be so serious as to be career-threatening.
"Rio, he's going to get healed up and come back real soon," Mack said.
Defensive tackle Dan Williams has also been optimistic about Edwards, saying the second-year player has been himself, laughing and joking.
--The city of Oakland and Alameda County continue to be unable to put an offer before Raiders owner Mark Davis regarding a new stadium that the franchise deems acceptable.
"They just don't want to play with us," Davis told the Oakland Tribune. "I don't know why. I don't understand it."
--Raiders safety Charles Woodson will finish his career at Arrowhead Stadium, the same place he started it on Sept. 6, 1998.
Quarterback Elvis Grbac went after Woodson early for a handful of completions to Andre Rison, the last one being a 30-yard touchdown, before Woodson settled down and played well the rest of the game.
"Man, I was pumped, and I got over-excited in a way I don't normally do," Woodson told Sirius XM NFL radio. "I'm thinking to myself, there's no way they're throwing the ball at me this game. And then right off the bat -- bam, bam, bam, bam -- about three or four passes in my direction and the last one a touchdown to Andre Rison on a skinny post.
"That immediately calmed me down and humbled me."
--The Raiders not only went through an emotional final home game for Woodson, but then got some extra time off since they played on Thursday night.
With only a road game to go, and the home crowd no longer a factor, is it conceivable the Raiders could come out flat at Arrowhead, a place where they've historically had difficulty?
Del Rio doesn't think so. While the Thursday game doesn't amount to a full-blown bye, Del Rio recalls that the Raiders played exceptionally well coming out of their bye after the fifth game of the season.
Following their bye, the Raiders jumped out to a 37-6 lead on San Diego (they won 37-29) and then beat up on the New York Jets 34-20.
"I feel good about earning that break, and we got a nice break over the weekend," Del Rio said. "It's the time of year when that kind of break is rare. We'll make the most of it, much like we did during the bye week. You take advantage of that opportunity, heal up a little bit, get some rest and rejuvenate yourself for that next opportunity."