"It feels excellent to be back," the Seattle Seahawks defensive end said Sunday after a 34-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. "I'm glad to have a job again."
Irvin, the second-year linebacker who was the team's first pick in the 2012 draft, was suspended for the first four games for a violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.
Sunday was his first action of the season, and he finished with four tackles and a nine-yard sack of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
"I got a little sack, but it doesn't mean anything because we didn't win," Irvin said.
Irvin was getting his first action at strong-side linebacker, having been moved from the pass-rush end position where he picked up eight sacks last season.
"I was a little nervous with it at first," Irvin said of the position change. "But as the game went on I got more comfortable."
Irvin's return bolsters the speed-rush packages for the Hawks, although they finished with just two sacks of Luck (Chris Clemons collecting the other).
In one alignment, he joined Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, O'Brien Schofield and Clemons to give the Hawks five speedy rushers in passing situations.
"It's a lot of great pass rushers," Irvin said. "Coaches do a great job of getting us all on the field at the same time. I just think we've got to keep working together. We've got a little chemistry problem but it's only the fifth game and we've got a long season ahead. We'll continue to work on it and get that down pat in practice."
Cornerback Richard Sherman said he saw Irvin "coming off the edge and making some great tackles and got a sack ... it's always good to have him back."
Head coach Pete Carroll was impressed, too.
"He seemed like he was very active," Carroll said. "He was around the ball; he made some big things happen, big sack and a couple nice tackles, too. I thought he did a very nice job; I don't know how many plays he played, but I think you could definitely feel his presence out there."
Irvin was asked if he was sore, given the fact that he hasn't played since the preseason.
"No," he said. "But probably will be in the morning."
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