FRISCO – The Dallas Cowboys — in an unfortunate way — have a few options as it regards returning defensive lineman David Irving to this weekend’s 53-man roster ahead of the Sunday night game at Houston.
And indeed, that would be my prediction of what’s going to happen here shortly.
Frederick, of course, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome before the start of the season. In what could be considered an optimistic gesture, Dallas kept him on the 53 rather than placing him on the IR at that time, as doing the latter would’ve locked him out of being on the roster for the first eight weeks of the season.
Now we are five weeks in, and while the long-term prognosis on Frederick remains positive, this is a condition that is an unpredictable one. And so putting Frederick on IR now would “hedge the bet” on his eventual return, which of course could still come in December (for Week 13, to be specific.)
The team is almost certain to activate Irving, and maybe play him 12 to 15 snaps on Sunday night at Houston, as he comes back from his four-game NFL suspension. Irving did not practice on Thursday due to a personal matter, meaning that coming into Friday he’s essentially had one full and real practice in the last … well, forever, as he also skipped all of training camp in Oxnard for personal reasons.
Irving’s conditioning figures to be an issue on Sunday, but he does have his weight below 290, so that’s a help. And Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins may be healthy enough to play some defensive tackle, too, so that will take some of the burden off of Irving’s re-debut.
Frederick being placed on IR would mean he’s sidelined for eight weeks, and would for the moment remove receiver Terrance Williams from consideration here. The Cowboys say Williams is dealing with a foot issue — exactly the right thing to say to make him a consideration for IR himself — but he’s also dealing with off-the-field concerns that could eventually see the NFL hand down a short suspension due to his offseason entanglement in a public-intoxication arrest.
In addition to dealing with the off-field concerns with Irving, his fellow defensive lineman Randy Gregory also missed the Thursday afternoon workout due to an NFL-mandated doctor’s appointment in Chicago, all a part of his reinstatement guidelines. That leaves some here inside The Star pondering why Gregory’s appointments can’t be on, say, Tuesday, which is a players’ day off. Or maybe they could be in the actual city in which a player resides, as the city of Dallas surely is populated by doctors and stuff. In any event, once the Cowboys get through Friday and get to Sunday, Terrance Williams might remain in limbo (maybe his suspension comes next week?), Travis Frederick might be on IR (with hopes for December health) and Gregory and Irving should be on the field helping harass the Texans.