David Irving

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/21/20

Here is Saturday’s usual flood of minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

Seven Raiders Defenders To Come Off Reserve/COVID-19 List

While the Raiders practiced without several defenders this week, they are at least on track to have those players in uniform Sunday night against the Chiefs.

After continuing to test negative for COVID-19, seven Raider defenders will come off the team’s coronavirus list Saturday, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com tweets. Johnathan Abram, Johnathan Hankins, Arden Key, Maliek Collins, cornerback Isaiah Johnson and defensive lineman Kendal Vickers will be activated Saturday. David Irving is set to come off Las Vegas’ practice squad COVID-19 list, per Gutierrez.

The Raiders placed these seven players on their reserve/COVID list earlier this week, preventing each from practicing. They joined Lamarcus Joyner in that regard; the Raiders activated Joyner on Friday. This octet profiled as close contacts of Clelin Ferrell, who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week. Abram, Hankins, Key, Collins, Johnson and Vickers will be eligible to play against the Chiefs if their most recent COVID tests come back negative Sunday morning. Irving must be activated off the Raiders’ practice squad to suit up in Week 11.

Unlike Week 7’s Raiders-Buccaneers game — which was moved out of the Sunday-night window after Las Vegas’ first-string offensive line did not practice all week because of Trent Brown‘s positive COVID test — the NFL did not switch this week’s Raiders-Chiefs rematch out of the Sunday-night time slot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/18/20

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad moves:

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Signed: CB Trajan Bandy, CB Donnie Lewis

Houston Texans

  • Signed: WR Artavis Scott

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Placed on practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list: DL David Irving

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

  • Signed: DT Nick Thurman
  • Activated from practice squad IR: TE Jake Burt

Raiders Promote David Irving, Activate Damon Arnette

David Irving will have a chance to play in his first game since October 2018 on Sunday. The Raiders are activating the defensive lineman from their practice squad.

Irving will join first-round pick Damon Arnette in being on the team’s 55-man game-day roster. Las Vegas moved Arnette back to its active roster from IR. The Ohio State-developed cornerback has run into multiple instances of thumb trouble as a rookie.

The Raiders added Irving to their practice squad last month, doing so shortly after the NFL reinstated the oft-suspended inside pass rusher. The Cowboys let Irving walk in free agency in 2018, doing so after he played in only two games for the team in 2018.

Irving has been suspended four times, with his most recent substance-abuse ban sidelining him for over a year. He has shown flashes as a productive rusher, most notably in 2017 when he recorded seven sacks in eight games. The Raiders rank 31st this season with just nine sacks.

Arnette initially broke his thumb during training camp but landed on it awkwardly against the Patriots in September. He has played in just three games as a pro. The Raiders surprised many by taking Arnette at No. 19 overall. They are yet again having issues against the pass — an evergreen issue for the team — and enter Week 10 ranked 30th in defensive DVOA. A 32nd-ranked rush defense also contributes to that ranking.

The Raiders also promoted offensive lineman Jaryd Jones-Smith from their practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Remove 4 O-Linemen From Reserve/COVID-19 List

Oct 25: Saturday’s COVID-19 tests for Miller, Good, Hudson, and Jackson came back negative, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). All four will be available for the Raiders’ battle with the Bucs this afternoon.

Oct. 24: As of Saturday afternoon, the NFL has avoided another major schedule issue. Sunday afternoon’s Raiders-Buccaneers game is a go, and the hosts could well be better equipped to pull an upset.

The Raiders removed offensive linemen Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson from their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday. The team had placed its other four starting O-linemen on the list because they were deemed high-risk close contacts of Trent Brown, who tested positive for the coronavirus this week.

Brown will miss Sunday’s game, but his blocking mates are on track to play. However, they will not be officially cleared to do so until their Saturday coronavirus tests come back clean, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The team will obtain that information Sunday. Its four non-Brown O-line starters receiving clearance will certainly help Las Vegas’ cause against a Tampa Bay defense ranked first in DVOA through six games.

Recently signed defensive lineman David Irving is also set to make his Raiders debut. Reinstated from an 18-plus-month suspension just last week, Irving signed with the Raiders as a practice squad player. The Raiders will see what the former Cowboys starter can do beginning Sunday. Irving, 27, has not played since the 2018 season, when he saw action in only two games, and has been suspended four times by the NFL. In 2017, however, the interior pass rusher notched seven sacks in just eight games (all starts).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Sign DL David Irving

David Irving is indeed headed to Las Vegas. The Raiders are signing the recently reinstated defensive lineman, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

This came together pretty quickly, so it wouldn’t be surprising if there had been some communication between these sides for a while as Irving waited for the go-ahead from the league office. The reinstatement from Roger Goodell came on October 16th, and on the 17th we heard the Raiders were hosting him on a visit. Irving’s young career has already seen him suspended four times, thrice for substance abuse policy violations and once for PEDs.

His most recent ban was an indefinite one that ended up lasting over 18 months. An UDFA out of Iowa State in 2015, Irving has only appeared in two games since the 2017 season, but he showed plenty of flashes early on with the Cowboys. In only eight games with Dallas in 2017, he racked up seven sacks and six passes defended.

After hist most recent suspension Irving originally announced he was retiring in March of 2019, in part due to the league’s marijuana policy. After sitting out last season he had a change of heart, and announced back in February that he was hoping for a return. It took about eight months for him to get approval from Goodell, and now he’ll join a Raiders team looking to make a push in the AFC.

Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was Irving’s defensive coordinator in Dallas, which helps explain the connection. It’s anyone’s guess as to what Irving will look like or how soon he’ll be in game shape, but it’s a nice low-risk flyer for a team in need of pass-rushing help.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Hosting DL David Irving On Visit

A day after the NFL conditionally reinstated defensive lineman David Irving, he booked a visit. The Raiders are hosting the former Cowboys pass rusher, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The conditional reinstatement — after an 18-plus-month suspension — allows Irving to make free agent visits. He is not yet eligible to play, however. Still, the Raiders will take a look at the once-productive Cowboys D-lineman.

Irving has been suspended four times over the course of his four-year career. Substance-abuse policy violations resulted in three of those bans; a positive PED test triggered the other penalty. After a stay on the Chiefs’ practice squad, Irving played four seasons with the Cowboys. His most recent season (2018) included just two games and ended with an injury and a leave of absence.

Prior to Irving’s March 2019 suspension, the Cowboys were not planning to re-sign him. Irving said shortly after he was done with football, but he has worked his way back to conditional reinstatement.

The Raiders hired former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli this offseason. Marinelli works as Las Vegas’ defensive line coach. He coached Irving in each of the pass rusher’s four seasons in Dallas. Irving mostly operated as a depth player in Dallas, with suspensions preventing him from being a steady performer. That said, he did register seven sacks in eight regular-season games (all starts) for the 2017 Cowboys. Irving, 27, has flashed as both an interior and edge rusher and may be set to receive another opportunity soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Conditionally Reinstates DL David Irving

Former Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving may receive another chance soon. The NFL granted the veteran defender conditional reinstatement Friday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Suspended under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, Irving applied for reinstatement in July. The oft-banned defensive lineman may well have the opportunity to redeem himself under a CBA more lenient (at least, suspension-wise) regarding substance abuse.

The league handed Irving an indefinite ban in March 2019. Unlike Randy Gregory, Irving is no longer under contract with the Cowboys. He is a free agent. It is not certain when Irving will be fully eligible to play, however, so the former UDFA may wait a bit longer before he receives a path back to the field.

Irving, however, may work out for teams under the terms of the conditional reinstatement. It has been a long time since he last played, though. The Iowa State alum has not suited up for a game since October 2018, when an injury and a subsequent personal issue ended his fourth Cowboys season.

Irving, 27, has gone from being prepared to quit football (March 2019) to applying for reinstatement. He has been suspended four times, including once for performance-enhancing substances, but has taken steps to resume his career.

When on the field, the edge and interior pass rusher has shown productivity. Irving recorded seven sacks in eight games in 2017. The Cowboys used him as a starter throughout his abbreviated ’17 season but did not plan to re-sign him after his contract expired following the ’18 campaign.

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Extra Points: Gordon, Brown, Thomas, Texans

A pair of high profile players, receiver Josh Gordon of the Seahawks and defensive lineman David Irving, are both still waiting on answers from the league office. Both are suspended indefinitely, and decisions on reinstatement are overdue under the terms set by the collective bargaining agreement, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes. Gordon applied for reinstatement in June and Irving in July and neither has heard back yet despite the CBA stipulating a decision is supposed to be made within 60 days, according to Schefter.”David has done everything asked of him,” Irving’s agent Steve Weinberg said. “He’s been drug tested, he’s met with doctors and I don’t get it. Why have 60 days in the program if they’re not going to abide by it.”

We’re baffled why we don’t have a decision,” Weinberg continued. “We’re at a loss as to why this hasn’t been ruled on yet.” Gordon has an agreement in place with the Seahawks, but can’t officially sign until Roger Goodell gives him the go-ahead. Irving is a free agent. Both have been suspended numerous times for substance abuse policy violations, and Irving announced in 2019 he was quitting football before changing his mind back in February. Both players are talented and still relatively young, and it’s unclear what the holdup is. Perhaps the league scrambling to make COVID-19 related changes has put certain things on the backburner. We’ll keep you posted whenever the league responds.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Speaking of guys in trouble with the league office, we have an Antonio Brown update to pass along. The embattled receiver is dropping his countersuit against the woman who accused him of sexual assault, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). He also requested an extension to turn over evidence related to the civil case against him. In a follow-up tweet Pelissero notes that his suspension could be extended if new evidence emerges. Brown is now halfway through the eight-game suspension he was hit with earlier this year. Given his undeniable talent it would seem likely a team gives him a shot at some point once his ban is over if he can avoid anymore off-field trouble. Texans coach Bill O’Brien seemed to leave the door open to bringing in Brown a couple of weeks ago, but that was quickly followed by a report indicating that won’t be happening.
  • Brown isn’t the only controversial veteran the Texans have flirted with. Last week it looked like Earl Thomas was on the verge of signing in Houston, only for things to fall apart at the last minute. Now we have more clarity on what changed. “Numerous” Texans players spoke up about their desire not to have the veteran safety in the locker room, sources told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. That apparently convinced O’Brien, who is also the team’s GM, to back off. Thomas has developed a reputation for being difficult to get along with in recent years, even though that wasn’t an issue early in his career with the Seahawks. He had a bitter divorce from Seattle, and was then of course cut by the Ravens after getting into a fight with a teammate and having Baltimore’s veterans ask the front office for his release. Houston played the Ravens in Week 2, and La Canfora notes that the subject of Thomas came up during conversations between players on the two teams. If he’s this strongly disliked by some of his fellow players, it could be a while before Thomas finds a new home.

Cowboys Expect Randy Gregory Return

9:48pm: Gregory has made the move to file for reinstatement, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. The league has 60 days to approve or deny the application.

9:30pm: The new CBA significantly loosened constraints for non-PED substance abuse, and at least one player who ran afoul of the previous CBA’s off-field guidelines may be set for a return to action.

The Cowboys are expecting Randy Gregory to be reinstated and be back with the team next season, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports. A former second-round pick remains suspended indefinitely. Gregory missed the entire 2017 and ’19 seasons because of substance-abuse suspensions; he registered six sacks in 2018. The 27-year-old defensive end said recently he wants to play next season.

Gregory plans to apply for reinstatement soon, and Moore notes the Cowboys are willing to give him another chance. His Cowboys contract runs through the 2020 season. Gregory was set to apply for reinstatement last summer, but Moore indicates a slip-up in his aftercare program helped put those plans on hold.

This CBA will only produce marijuana-based suspensions in extreme cases (and only when players fail to cooperate with treatment) and, while DUIs will be dealt with in a stricter manner than they once were, other substance-abuse restrictions have been loosened. This leaves Gregory and others in limbo, but the Cowboys are optimistic on this front. This will, however, be an interesting challenge for Roger Goodell. Gregory has been suspended four times since coming into the league.

The Cowboys, however, are not planning on having David Irving back. The NFL suspended Irving indefinitely because of substance abuse, doing so just before the defensive lineman was to enter free agency last year. While the Cowboys retain his rights, Moore adds they have moved on.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.