In his Detroit Lions' debut in Week 13 against the New Orleans Saints, Bruce Irvin had one sack over 11 snaps. More playing time was surely coming this week against the Chicago Bears,
On Saturday afternoon, as usual, the Lions announced roster moves for Sunday's game.
With center Frank Ragnow out Sunday, elevating Niese as an extra offensive lineman on the active roster makes sense. But Irvin was notably not elevated, as wasn't defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna.
With Alim McNeill on IR, it felt certain Bohanna would be in the lineup again this week. But he has also reached his maximum of three practice squad elevations, and the Lions now have to sign him to the active roster if they want to play him again.
So it looks like it'll be Benito Jones, Isaiah Buggs, Levi Onwuzurike and possibly rookie Brodric Martin at defensive tackle for the Lions on Sunday.
Why wasn't Bruce Irvin elevated from the practice squad for Sunday at the Bears?
Irvin told Justin Rogers of the Detroit News an ankle injury he suffered on his sack against the Saints wasn't likely to keep him from playing on Sunday. Then he practiced fully on Thursday and Friday. It's also obvious players will usually have a more optimistic view of their injury outlook. The medical staff may simply not have agreed about his ability to play against the Bears.
Iffy weather being forecasted in Chicago on Sunday, and the residual likelihood (guarantee?) of bad field conditions at Soldier Field, may have factored into the Lions taking some extra caution with the 36-year old's ankle issue. No sense in making that kind of injury worse if it can be helped, and it's worth remembering last Sunday was Irvin's first football game in about 10 months.
So while it's shocking Irvin won't be playing on Sunday, let's just chalk it up to an injury that could be easily aggravated in the conditions that will be present. Burning another of his practice squad elevations with that risk in place didn't make sense.