Suspended defensive end David Irving is back at the Dallas Cowboys team facility after being on hiatus since the start of training camp taking care of things in his personal life.
Irving is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL substance abuse policy
But, per league rules, he is allowed to be around the team to work out and attend meetings but not practice or play in games.
“He just came back yesterday,” coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday morning. “He worked with our strength coaches in the weight room, did not participate in any meetings or anything like that yet. We’re just going to try to get him acclimated here day by day. That’s really what the plan is and hopefully, we’ll continue to progress. There are some rules limitations about what he can do, but as we go, we’ll get him more involved in the meetings and hopefully, he’ll be ready to go once he’s done with the suspension and he’ll be a full speed player for us.”
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He was also allowed to participate in training camp but was excused by the team as he underwent counseling.
He spent time working out at an elite MMA facility owned by FOX sports inside Jay Glazer.
Garrett said Irving returned in good shape.
“He looks good,” Garrett said. “He looks like he is good shape.”
Irving is eligible to return for the Oct. 7 matchup against the Houston Texans.
This appears to be the beginning of the end of what has been tumultuous past few months for Irving.
It all began when he was accused of domestic violence by a former girlfriend in a social media rant. She eventually recanted and he was cleared by the Frisco police department in April.
But it fostered an investigation by the NFL, which can punish players absent charges or a conviction, as running back Ezekiel Elliott found out last year when he served a six-game suspension.
He was subsequently cleared by the NFL.
The latest suspension was announced in June following the conclusion of the mandatory minicamp when Irving finally showed up the team facility to avoid being fined after missing the majority of the offseason program and organized team activities because of personal issues.
The four-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy means that he will miss the first four games for the second straight season. He was suspended for the first four games last year for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
The good news is that any concerns about what kind of shape he would be after missing camp for counseling have been alleviated.
Now the focus is getting him ready to play football again once his suspension is over.
Irving can be a difference-making player for the Cowboys. He had seven sacks in eight games last year and the team is hoping for a similar production upon his return.