The Las Vegas Raiders announced they have signed defensive end David Irving to the practice squad and activated backup quarterback Marcus Mariota from the Reserve/Injured List.
Irving was indefinitely suspended following the 2018 season after violating the NFL’s policy and program for substance abuse a second time. He was eventually reinstated by the league on Oct. 16 and now finds himself on a Raiders team who could use help in pass rush department.
Irving last played for the Dallas Cowboys, spending four years in Texas and recording 12.5 sacks in 37 games during that time span. However, the defensive end only played two games in 2018, racking up four total tackles and one sack.
The decision to play for Las Vegas makes sense as Irving fills a need on the defensive end for Jon Gruden and Paul Guenther. Irving will also be reuniting with Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who was the Cowboys defensive coordinator when he was still there.
As things stand, Irving must complete the NFL’s six-day player intake process and pass several COVID-19 tests before he is officially added to the 53-man roster. Despite the wait, Irving should make an impact for a Raiders team that has struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks.
Through six weeks, the Raiders have compiled only seven sacks which ranks them near the bottom of the league. As a result, the Silver and Black have found themselves having to dig out of deficits in the second half. While there are questions as to whether or not Irving will be able to contribute after nearly two years away from football, he still represents hope for defensive line that could use more force upfront.
Second-year players like Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby have looked more comfortable this season, but having someone like Irving to shore up the pass rush could be the boost Las Vegas needs to keep up with the rest of the AFC. The offense flashed its potential after their impressive showing against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5, and if the defense catches up then the Raiders could indeed live up to their preseason hype.