Washington Commanders German DT David Bada moves closer to NFL debut

This week Washington Commanders’ German defensive tackle David Bada took massive step towards his dream of making his NFL debut. The NFL International Player Pathway alumni hopes to get his first NFL regular season action this year as a recent team transaction makes that goal much closer.

On Saturday, he became the first player from the International Player Pathway Program to terminate his International Practice squad contract during the season and be signed by his team, the Washington Commanders, to a standard NFL Practice Player contract. While the move may seem like a run-in-the-mill transaction for most fans, it could lead to Bada becoming somewhat historic this season.

The roster transaction now counts Bada against the 16-player limit of the Commanders practice squad. Following NFL rules, the IPP defensive lineman will remain on the regular practice squad for three consecutive games (bye week counts) before Washington could elevate him to the active roster. This gives him a chance to debut in the NFL’s week 15 as the Commanders take on the San Francisco 49ers or any games after.

The 27-year-old is in his third season with the Commanders after going through the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program in 2020. The German with Ghanaian roots has put together two consecutive pre-seasons where he flashed the potential to play with the NFL’s best. Some highlights from the 2021 and 2022 pre-season included sacks of Lamar Jackson and Mac Jones and a blocked field.

A native of Munich, Germany has spent the 2019 and 2018 seasons anchoring the defensive line for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League. The Unicorns won the German title in 2018 and reached the final in 2019. Prior to that, he spent three seasons playing for the Ingolstadt Dukes, also in the GFL. He started his career with his hometown Munich Cowboys in the GFL in 2014.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed for Bada’s debut as the Washington Commanders are in the playoff hunt and have several defensive linemen battling injuries. After going through the NFL International Pathway Player Program twice and grinding out three seasons on the practice squad, strapping up the pads with his teammates on a Sunday this winter would certainly be dream come true for the German talent.

Read more about Bada’s football journey here


Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and