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XFL Week 4 Preview: DC Defenders @ Tampa Bay Vipers

DC Defenders (2-1) vs Tampa Bay Vipers (0-3)
Sunday, March 01 2020 7:00 pm EST @ Raymond James Stadium
Odds: DC Defenders -2.5 (

The DC Defenders look to rebound from an ugly loss against the LA Wildcats, While the Tampa Bay Vipers desperately hunt for their first win.

The DC Defenders showed some clear weakness in their armor, last week traveling to the West Coast. The LA Wildcats not only beat them, but blew the Defenders out. Cardale Jones, who through 2 weeks was looking like an MVP possibility, threw 4 interceptions and barely broke the 100 yard mark. The DC Defenders clearly need to have a strong performance against the Vipers to return themselves to the top 3 conversation of best teams in the XFL.

Opposite, the Vipers showed some heart against the Houston Roughnecks, arguably the best team in the league, keeping it close for the entirety of the game. The Vipers, however, are caught up in a burning dumpster fire of drama, with fan favorite QB Quinton Flowers leaving the team for “personal reasons”, some speculating he’s angered by his lack of an opportunity to start. The Vipers need some momentum moving forward if they want to have any chance of recovering this season and Head Coach Marc Trestman wants to pull himself off the hot seat.

In the closest timeslot we’ve had to a Primetime match up this season, expect a rowdy game between two teams that desperately need this win.

Defenders vs Vipers Key Matchups

LB Anthony Johnson (#97) vs Tampa Bay Vipers Offensive Line

In his first week with the Defenders, after virtually no sleep, Johnson made a clear impact with 1.5 sacks. In his second week against his former team, Johnson had a rough game, with little impact in the pass rush. The Defenders, who have somewhat struggled getting to the QB this season, need Johnson’s production to make an impact.

QB Cardale Jones (#12) vs Tampa Bay Vipers Defense

QB Cardale Jones obviously needs a bounce back performance after an ugly 4 interception day against the Wildcats. With only 14 starts under his belt between college and the professional ranks, Jones can’t afford to be this inconsistent.

WR Rashad Ross (#15) vs CB Tavarus McFadden (#20)

Ross is one of the key figures of the Defenders offense and when he’s on, it all flows. Ross had a rough week against the Wildcats last week and had to take some punishment from XFL social media. A big day against the Vipers will go a long way towards silencing the haters. It’s up to McFadden to shut him down.

Injury Report

DCTavaris BarnesDEThighLimited participationQuestionable
DCElijah CampbellDBAbdomenLimited participationQuestionable
DCDonnie ErnsbergerTEShoulderFull participationProbable
DCJhurell PressleyRBShoulderFull participationProbable
TBQuinton FlowersQB/RBLeft TeamDid not participateOut
TBS.J. GreenWRKneeDid not participateQuestionable
TBNick TruesdellTEKneeDid not participateDoubtful
TBJalen CollinsCBAnkleFull participationProbable
TBMartez IveyOTKneeFull participationProbable
TBAaron MurrayQBFootFull participationProbable
TBRicky WalkerDTAnkleFull participationProbable

Fantasy Preview


Defenders: RB Donnel Pumphrey, WR Rashad Ross, QB Cardale Jones

Vipers: RB De’Veon Smith, WR Dan Williams


Defenders: RB Jhurell Pressley, WR DeAndre Thompkins

Vipers: WR Reece Horn

Sleeper pick: TE Deandre Goolsby (TB)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Konnor Fulk excelled in the Sports Management Program at Georgia Southern University. He spent several seasons working with the Washington Redskins in fan engagement, strategy, and sales strategy. Additionally, Mr. Fulk continues consulting services across the sport of NASCAR. Konnor has a longstanding obsession with the concept of Spring Football and is looking forward to sharing his expertise and opinions about the XFL relaunch. Connect with Konnor on LinkedIN or give him a follow on Twitter @KonnorFulk_XFL

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Credentialed XFL Reporter @XFLNewsHub / Articles featured @BleacherReport / Past Jobs: Redskins & Sports Management Group Wrldwide / Current: Consulting NASCAR

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