Since the early stages of the season, the Oakland Raiders have been missing a big presence on the defensive line.
Defensive tackle Justin "Jelly" Ellis.
The 6'2", 330-pound lineman has been an integral piece for the team the last few years, but he's been sidelined with an injury since Week 2. Fortunately, the big fella seems to be approaching his return to the game action. Wednesday afternoon, Ellis rejoined the team for practice, and he was ecstatic to get back on the field. The Raiders officially designated him to return from the Reserve/Injured list, and the team will have 21 days to determine whether he's healthy enough to return, or if he'll be placed on season-ending IR.
"It was a great feeling [to get back on the field]," Ellis told reporters Thursday. "I was smiling inside, I was working trying to knock the rust off. Inside, seeing my guys happy to have me back was a great feeling."
Ellis' teammates aren't the only people to see him back on the field, so is his defensive coordinator, Paul Guenther.
"He looks good, it'll be great to get him back. We haven't had him since the first ball game, he's a big part of what we're doing here. He practiced yesterday, but he looks good. He feels good, and hopefully he'll be up and running Sunday."
The Louisiana native's status for Sunday is up in the air at the moment, but knowing he's nearing a return to the gridiron is good news for the entirety of the Silver and Black's defense.
The Raiders return to the practice field for a walk through following their win against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11.