Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving returned to practice Thursday after missing four days of practice and meetings as well as last Sunday’s 19-16 overtime loss to the Houston Texans while dealing with a child custody case involving his five-year old daughter and ex-girlfriend Angela Sanchez.
The case is not resolved and he has a court date next Wednesday.
But the Cowboys believe the situation is moving toward a resolution and expect him to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday if he continues to make progress in practice the rest of the week.
Thursday was only Irving’s second time on the practice field since last November when he missed the final four games of the 2017 season with a concussion.
He was absent throughout the offseason program and OTAs because of ongoing family issues after gaining custody of his daughter. He returned for minicamp to avoid being fined but was out of shape and only did conditioning work.
Irving was suspended for the first four of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He then missed all of training camp going through drug rehab.
He officially returned to the team last week following the conclusion of the suspension but practice just one day before getting caught again in his personal family issues that caused him to miss practice and the game.
The Cowboys are hopeful that Irving can do enough in practice to play Sunday against the Jaguars. If anyone can do it, they believe he can after seeing him register seven sacks in his first 8 games after missing the first four games of the season in 2017.
“He is certainly an awfully good player and he is certainly physically talented,” coach Jason Garrett said “He seems to be able to handle playing without a lot of work. This will challenge that. Again, like we talked last week. He had only practiced once in the last eight or nine months. And hopefully, some of the work he got last week and some of the work he is doing in his conditioning will help him go out and have a good productive practice today. And string a couple together and see if he is available for the ball game.”