Broncos Expected to Sign ex-Fangio OLB Isaiah Irving to Practice Squad, per Report
The Denver Broncos have been busy the last two business days. In the wake of what is believed to be a season-ending ankle injury to Von Miller, Broncos' GM John Elway has been working the phones in pursuit of pass-rushing help.
Veteran Clay Matthews didn't pan out but according to a report from KOA's Benjamin Allbright, a bonafide NFL insider, the Broncos are bringing in a former Vic Fangio acolyte with the purpose of signing him to the practice squad.
"Per league source: Broncos have brought OLB Isaiah Irving in. He has to clear COVID protocols and a physical. Intent is to sign him to the practice squad on Saturday. He has two years experience with Fangio in Chicago," Allbright tweeted Thursday morning.
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While Irving isn't the move Broncos fans were expecting, make no mistake, it's not going to be the last. This team needs a veteran — a proven NFL pass rusher.
Although Irving has history with Fangio in Chicago, he's not the complete answer the Broncos are looking for. But he is depth.
Irving went undrafted out of San Jose State in 2017 and signed with Fangio's Bears. As the defensive coordinator in Chicago, Fangio had Iriving under his wing for two seasons, which means he and Ed Donatell can be confident that they're not starting over scheme-wise as teachers.
Irving bounced back and forth from the Bears' practice squad to the active roster, though he did appear in 13 games in Fangio's final year — 2018, the season Chicago's defense was so dominant a head-coaching job couldn't be denied him any longer.
All-in, Irving has one career sack and 27 tackles. After waiving Justin Hollins, a few days before Miller got hurt, the Broncos will soon have an edge defender waiting in the wings in case of emergency the coaches have some confidence in.
But Elway can't be done. ESPN's Adam Schefter said on Denver radio on Thursday that the Broncos don't know if Bradley Chubb is even going to play on Monday night vs. the Tennessee Titans.
That puts the onus on Malik Reed and Jerry Attaochu but also mandates that Elway do what it takes to bring in a veteran literally as soon as possible. The Broncos tried and failed with Matthews, likely low-balling him but there are other options out there including Terrell Suggs, Ezekiel Ansah, and others.