Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain after a Nov. 1 practice. He has not practiced (or played) since because of what the team continues to list as an ankle injury.
The Cowboys have ruled him out of Saturday’s playoff game, the 16th game Irving will have missed this season. He has not played since an Oct. 21 game against Washington when he made his only sack of the season.
Repeatedly asked about Irving’s presence on the roster despite his absence, the Cowboys have offered little explanation.
But Mike Fisher of 247Sports reports Friday that Irving has failed to comply with the NFL’s drug policy by missing multiple tests the past two months. There is no indication Irving failed a test since serving a four-game suspension to open the season, but the NFL counts failure to comply the same in its testing policy.
Irving, who served a four-game suspension to open the 2017 season for violating the league’s policy against performance enhancing drugs, missed the first four games of this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He missed all of training camp and most of the offseason program because of off-field issues, including a custody battle with his ex-girlfriend.
Irving rarely has shown up at The Star since his injury, according to Fisher, although Irving briefly was seen by reporters in the locker room last week.