The trade deadline may be beyond us, but that doesn’t mean general manager Brad Holmes is done adding talent to this Detroit Lions roster. You asked for a pass rusher and it may not have happened in the way you imagined, but it happened nonetheless. It was reported on Tuesday afternoon that the Lions have signed Bruce Irvin to the practice squad, and Irvin confirmed the signing via a photo of his locker in Allen Park.
Question of the day: Does signing Bruce Irvin change your opinion of the Lions defense?
My answer: I see it as marginally beneficial, but I wouldn’t read into it much.
It’s exciting to see a former first-rounder who once wreaked havoc as part of a historically good defense join the Lions, but there’s a lot about this signing that’s telling. The first is that Irvin was available to begin with, and the second is that the Lions added him to the practice squad.
He’ll likely see some game-day elevations sooner than later, but more than anything I see this akin to other signings the Lions have made of high-level players at the tail end of their careers. The first that come to mind are Adrian Peterson and Dwight Freeney. But hey, who knows, maybe in the right circumstances Irvin will turn out more like Rashean Mathis or Anquan Boldin.
I wouldn’t hold my breath for it, though. I think the best realistic outcome for Irvin this season is to step in as a slightly less efficient version of James Houston. The Lions were clearly in need of a pass rusher, and given Irvin’s age, I expect them to use him on a situational snap count so he can be fresh and effective to do exactly what the Lions brought him in to do. Irvin is a capable run defender, too, but that’s not where the Lions need help, and given Irvin’s age they’ll want to use him wisely.
Ultimately, it doesn’t move the needle for me as far as where the Lions defense stands. If anything, it makes me feel worse about James Houston’s odds of returning this season. But hey, I hope I’m wrong about both. Time will tell. Let us know if it changes your opinion in the comments and in the poll below.
Does signing Bruce Irvin change your opinion of the Lions defense?
This poll is closed
Yes, I feel better
Yes, I feel worse