2017 is a year to forget for David Irving!
The year 2017 started with a four-game suspension due to violating NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances use. David Irving, the Dallas Cowboys pass rusher, then claimed how he ingested it unknowingly via a supplement he was using, but that the ingredient wasn’t listed on the package. In Week 5 he returned to the field for the clash against the Green Bay Packers. He really kicked things up a notch, especially when compared to the then-incumbent NFL sack leader DeMarcus Lawrence. How?
Well, he landed seven sacks, he broke up six passes and forced a fumble in eight games before being sidelined due to a concussion he suffered in the Nov. 30 duel against the Washington Redskins. The team had hoped a lot that the injury wasn’t a major one, but unfortunately, Irving’s symptoms said otherwise. What followed was a shut down for the rest of the 2017 season.
“It’s hard to put my words in order,” Irving stated.
“I’ll be talking and I’ll know what I want to say but then when it’s time to talk, I can’t say it. I look like a deer caught in headlights. I couldn’t have said that a few weeks ago. I wouldn’t have thought of that.
“But yeah, it’s getting better, getting easier.”
Irving, a true veteran of the game continued the interview with brief pauses where he gathered his thoughts. It was tough for him, there was no doubt about that.
“It wasn’t just headaches,” he said. “It was confusion, just forgetting things. It did scare me at first. You know for a while it didn’t seem like it was getting better. I’ve never really had one this bad.
“I’ll be looking for my phone and it’s like right in my hand and I’m just looking everywhere for it. But that hasn’t happened for a couple of weeks now.”
Hearing the last sentence was relieving considering how awful the symptoms were at one point. The Cowboys’ insider Mike Fisher even said how due to that mental lapse Irving got himself involved in a car accident!
“I rolled through a stop sign and got in a fender-bender with the truck ahead of me, and didn’t even realize what I’d done or where I was,” Irving said. “That’s when I knew I needed help.”
Considering that the current environment in the NFL clearly leans towards prevention and treatment of concussions in order to minimize or avoid longterm damage by way of CTE, the whole organization, and the league have to put emphasis on the continuation of Irving’s improvement and to make sure that he is 100% mentally fit before going back to the football field. Dallas team handled the situation well because they didn’t force him back or rush anything for the sake of bettering their playoff chances. Irving now had quite a few months to recover before he is requested to suit up once again.
When asked about his future at the club the player acknowledged the effect of bad 2017 season and how it could impact the future.
“It’s a bad season,” Irving claimed.
“I missed eight games. That’s not good. I keep thinking what if I had played all the games. Come back year. Stay the hell out of trouble.”
“Hopefully, I won’t get injured. And see what I can do next year.”
He further elaborated on the meaning of ‘staying out of trouble.’
“Watch what I ingest,” he said. “Watch what I do. Be smart.”
Following the whole ordeal, David Irving is going to be a restricted free agent this season, so that opens the door for Cowboys to ensure that he stays put for the time being. From a business point of view the organization will most likely offer up a high-round tender, but we are sure that he won’t leave Dallas if there isn’t a provocative offer on the table. Irving will earn $470,294 in base salary in 2018, a huge difference from other veterans on the Cowboys’ defensive line. On top of that, many haven’t nearly outperformed him and certainly don’t have his upside.
Surely it is painful for Irving to be in this kind of situation, but at least he is not putting the blame on everyone else rather than on himself. That’s a rarity in the world of sports today.
“The process sucks,” Irving said. “The team has all the rights. I’m not naive. I see other guys’ bank accounts. …It sucks, but that’s what happens when you get kicked out of college and make bad decisions.”
Should Irving manage to stay on the field every single regular game this upcoming season, surely he’ll be in store for a hefty payday on his second contract. But for now, he should focus on recovery in order to try and play the best he can in the upcoming season. Who knows, maybe he will have the best season of his entire career.