Ex-Raven Signs With Raiders After 2-Year Hiatus: Report

Ex-Raven Lineman D.J. Fluker prior to game against Titans.

Getty Ex-Raven Lineman D.J. Fluker prior to game against Titans.

Former Baltimore Raven D.J. Fluker is making a comeback to the NFL after he last played a snap during the 2020 season.

On Monday, December 11, Bleacher Report’s NFL insider Jordan Schultz reported, “Comeback complete: Free agent OL DJ Fluker is signing with the [Las Vegas] #Raiders following last week’s workout, his agent @DerykGilmore tells me.”

Fluker last played in the NFL for the Ravens during the 2020 season, where he started eight games. He played 52% of the snaps for the Ravens at the right tackle position.

Fluker bounced around practice squads in 2021 of the Raiders, Dolphins and Jaguars but has not seen official game action since he played for the Ravens.

According to Schultz, “DJ Fluker revamped his entire training regimen to incorporate strength training, cardio and clean eating to lose the 50 pounds.”

Fluker has been trying out with a few different teams recently and settled on the Raiders (one of the teams he was on the practice squad for during 2021), thus giving the silver and black some depth at a thin position.

The ability to make a comeback of this nature after a long hiatus highlights the perseverance and drive Fluker has had in himself during the process.

The Raiders play on Thursday Night Football against the Los Angeles Chargers, so it remains to be seen if Fluker will be active for the game.

D.J. Fluker Looks to Recapture Early Career Ability

Fluker was drafted by the Chargers 11th overall during the 2013 NFL draft. The lineman played four seasons for the Bolts, playing predominantly right tackle and right guard.

The Alabama tackle was a solid tackle and iron-man during those seasons and only missed five games during that period.

The Chargers exercised his fifth-year option during the 2016 season, but he became a cap casualty during the offseason. The Chargers released him in March 2017.

Fluker then bounced between the New York Giants (2017) and the Seattle Seahawks (2018-2019). He finally landed with the Ravens as his last stop.

The massive tackle played all 16 games (including two playoff games) for the Ravens during the 2020 season and was an important depth piece for the purple and black.

Based on the report of a 50-pound loss, the tackle is around the 300-pound mark at this point. Fluker is 32 years old, and while his legs should be fresh after not playing for a couple of seasons, it’s still a remarkable comeback.

If the former first-rounder can get onto the field for the Raiders, he will still be able to provide valuable experience and depth for a team that could use some stability.

Ronnie Stanley Has His Best Game of Season in Week 14

One of the players Fluker filled in for while a Raven was Ronnie Stanley (Stanley suffered a season-ending ankle injury in 2020).

Stanley has been the subject of criticism and fan ire this season for his below-average play at the tackle position. The hope was that the bye week would give him a little extra time to reset and rest.

It appears the bye was exactly what Stanley needed to turn around his play. Stanley responded with what was possibly his best game of the season during the Week 14, 37-31, win over the Los Angeles Rams.

According to PFF BAL Ravens, Stanley only allowed a “single pressure during the game out of 44 pass-blocking snaps.”

The Ravens were rotating linemen during the game, and according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Athletic, “Harbaugh said rotating the OL was partly due to making sure Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses were fresh late in the game. Said it was OL coach Joe D’Alessandris’ idea. Felt like the plan worked.”

It will be interesting to see if this is the path the Ravens choose going forward but for one game it seemed to work well.

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