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Dan Campbell explains why Lions parted ways with Bruce Irvin, Isaiah Buggs

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell explained the ‘tough’ decisions to cut defensive linemen Bruce Irvin and Isaiah Buggs.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The week the Detroit Lions cut defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs and Bruce Irvin. Both players have had a significant impact on the team, albeit for widely different spans of time.

Buggs was one of the key players in the Lions’ 2022 defensive turnaround, particularly when it came to their run defense. Irvin was added late this season, but the 37-year-old provided mentorship and professionalism to one of the youngest defenses in the league—not to mention a couple of QB hits and a sack in the team’s win over the New Orleans Saints.

On Wednesday, coach Dan Campbell addressed both roster moves. First with a pretty brief statement on Buggs.

“When those things happen, nothing about it is easy, but it was the best thing for us and for him,” Campbell said. “So I wish him the best of luck.”

It sounds like the conversation with Irvin was a little more complicated, as the Lions weighed their option—particularly with the roster moves that will be necessary to make room for both C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Alim McNeill, who are expected to be activated from injured reserve this week. Additionally, it sounds like Irvin had some desire to move on, as his tweet suggested.

“We talked last week, we talked again yesterday—had a long talk—and so just at this moment, (we) couldn’t totally commit,” Campbell said. “And he’s got stuff going on, too. So it’s hard. It’s just one of those at this point, it wasn’t going to work out. But he’s an absolute stud. He sure is.”

Campbell went out of his way to thank Irvin, noting how big of an impact he made in just the seven weeks he was on the roster.

“Bruce, what a pro. He is. He’s been a blessing to have him around here,” Campbell said. “I mean he just brings a whole different perspective. He’s as professional as you get, just the way he goes about his business, everything about him.”

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