Former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman D.J. Fluker is staging a comeback to the NFL after his last appearance on the field in the 2020 season following two years of personal training and conditioning to bring his weight down.
On Monday, Dec. 11, NFL insider Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report announced on his personal X account, "Comeback complete: Free agent OL DJ Fluker is signing with the Raiders following last week’s workout, his agent Deryk Gilmore tells me."
While the Raiders are surely going nowhere this season, the truth is that landing a seasoned veteran with experience and a grown-man voice in their locker room might help them in some ways during the final month of play.
Las Vegas is also facing a shortage of offensive tackles, making this a smooth signing this late in the season.
Most importantly, this is a massive personal win for Fluker. The lineman left the NFL in 2021 (although he last played a game in the 2020 season), spent two years training and getting in shape on his own, and resurfaced out of nowhere letting everybody know he was more than ready to go after shedding a ridiculous 50 pounds, per Schultz, at age 32.
Fluker had a workout with the Raiders last week and the franchise evidently liked his fitness and line-chops enough to ink him a deal for the next month of play, and perhaps into next season if he earns it during the final four games of the year.
Drafted as a first-round pick by the Chargers in 2013, Fluker has been part of six different NFL teams on his way to starting 96 games throughout his career to date.
Fluker was part of some practice squads in 2021 (Raiders, Dolphins, and Jaguars) but he last played a regular-season game in the NFL while a member of the Ravens in 2020.
During his time with the Ravens, Fluker started eight games and turned into a key rotational and depth piece for the franchise back then, appearing in all 16 regular-season games played in the 2020 campaign, as well as a couple of postseason games already in the 2021 calendar year at both the guard and the tackle positions.
Fluker's return to the NFL after not playing for a couple of seasons is a heartwarming story and we're here to root for the young veteran in his attempt to make a comeback. It's going to be tough for him to win games in Las Vegas, but he's already won in life and as a professional athlete by proving doubters wrong when they called him done a couple of years ago.