The XFL has been a launchpad for talents seeking to break into the elite levels of professional football. While we’ve talked at length about XFL players who’ve made it to NFL rosters, the practice squads are equally instrumental in this narrative. These are spaces where players hone their skills, adapt to NFL playbooks, and await their chance to step into the limelight.
On the Move: Quarterbacks and Receivers
Ben DiNucci, the former Sea Dragons QB, has re-signed with Denver’s practice squad, offering depth at the quarterback position for the Broncos. On the other hand, the Giants have added a versatile offensive weapon in Tyree Jackson, the 2020 DC Defenders QB now playing TE. As for receivers, Vipers Mathew Sexton is rejoining the Falcons’ practice squad, while Roughnecks Michael Bandy has been signed by the Broncos. P.J. Walker, the former Panthers and 2020 Houston Roughnecks starting QB, joins the Bears practice squad. Defenders WR Lucky Jackson signs with the Vikings. Roughnecks WR Jontre Kirklin signs with the Saints. Battlehawks WR Marcell Ateman signs with the Bills.
Defensive Domains: Linemen and Backers
Defensively, the Buccaneers have added depth by bringing back DL C.J. Brewer from the Houston Roughnecks. Not to be outdone, the Saints have also opted for Roughneck talent, signing Jack Heflin to their practice squad. The Bears signed LB DeMarquis Gates, a dual league veteran from the 2020 XFL and 2022 USFL, adding experience to their defensive unit. Roughnecks DT Jack Heflin signs with the Saints. St. Louis Battlehawks DL LaCale London joins the Falcons. Sea Dragons DE Niko Lalos signs with the Saints. Brahmas DL Matt Gotel Joins the Seahawks. Orlando Guardians LB Jordan Thomas joins the Panthers.
The list goes on, with names like DL LaCale London (BattleHawks to Falcons), RB Godwin Igwebuike (2020 Dragons to Falcons), and OT Jaryd Jones-Smith (Battlehawks to Commanders) being included. G Michael Dunn (2020 Dragons to Browns). OT Barry Wesley (Sea Dragons to Browns). RB Brian Hill (Battlehawks – 49ers)
Defensive Backs and Special Teams
The secondary also saw action with Luq Barcoo (Brahmas to Steelers). Special Teams weren’t left out either, as Brahmas K Parker Romo will soon be booting footballs for the Bears.
What it All Means
These practice squad signings offer players a stepping stone to potentially groundbreaking careers in the NFL. The continual transition of XFL talent into the NFL – whether it’s to a practice squad or a starting roster – proves that the XFL serves as a crucial talent pool for the NFL.
The story of these XFL athletes continues to unfold, and each practice squad signing is a new chapter in this ongoing saga. Their journey is a testament to the quality and competitiveness that the XFL brought to the football landscape, and we can only wait to see how these players will shape the future of the game.
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