D.J. Fluker has not played in three years, most recently showing up as a part-time starter for the 2020 Ravens. The former first-round pick also spent 2022 mostly off the grid; his 2023 appointments have certainly changed that.
After several workouts earlier this year, Fluker finished his week with two auditions. The veteran offensive lineman worked out for the Panthers earlier this week and participated in a Friday tryout with the Raiders, according to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz.
A first-round Chargers selection back in 2013, Fluker has been out of the NFL for nearly two years. He suffered a knee injury during Dolphins training camp in 2021 and was released from the team’s IR with an injury settlement. The NFL then handed the Alabama alum a six-game suspension. That ban and Fluker undergoing meniscus surgery effectively wiped out his 2021 slate, though he did score multiple practice squad deals later that year.
The Raiders gave Fluker that P-squad contract two years ago, signing him that December during Rich Bisaccia‘s run as interim HC. The stint did not last long, however, with Fluker ending up on the Jaguars’ P-squad before season’s end. Neither agreement led to playing time, and Fluker spent 2022 out of the league. Time is running out for the 32-year-old blocker, but he has been busy this year. After working out at Alabama’s pro day, Fluker auditioned for Eagles, Patriots and Jets between May and September.
Injuries have ransacked the Panthers’ guard group. Starters Austin Corbett and Brady Christensen are out for the season, and rookie fill-in Chandler Zavala recently joined them on IR. Carolina already signed Gabe Jackson to its practice squad but is interested in more veteran aid to close out Bryce Young‘s rookie year. The Raiders have both their starters (Dylan Parham, Greg Van Roten) healthy. Third-year UDFA Jordan Meredith resides as a backup, with Jermaine Eluemunor having played both tackle and guard for the team during his tenure.
Prior to his multiyear hiatus, Fluker started 96 career games at guard and right tackle. The Chargers cut the cord on his fifth-year option in 2017, back when teams could pick up options and cut the player (before the 2020 CBA made the fifth years fully guaranteed). Fluker then played for the Giants, Seahawks and Ravens, starting for two Seattle playoff teams during his post-San Diego years.