Around the XFL – Saturday, March 11

#20 Running Back Kenneth Farrow, XFL Arlington Renegades.
#20 Running Back Kenneth Farrow, XFL Arlington Renegades. (Twitter)

Arlington Renegades

Starting CB Josh Hawkins tore his ACL against the Orlando Guardians and will be out for the rest of the year. It’s a big blow to Arlington’s defense. He’ll be replaced in the starting lineup by Shakur Brown, and on the roster by former Jacksonville Jaguar Brandon Rusnak…Also placed on IR was S Jamal Carter. He was a starter as well, further thinning out Arlington’s defensive backfield. The team signed former Denver Bronco fifth-round draft pick Jamar Johnson, who will play behind new starter Joe Powell…After De’Veon Smith got nicked up early against the Guardians, it was newly-acquired Kenneth Farrow getting the first snaps in relief instead of Adrian Killins. Farrow was in camp with Arlington but was released at final cuts…Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Hayes moved upstairs to call plays from the box against Orlando after doing so on the sidelines for the first two games…

Willie Beavers was recently brought in to fortify the offensive line. Beavers played under Bob Stoops for the Renegades in 2020, then went on to play for the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Commanders in the NFL. Beavers was inserted into the lineup at left tackle during Arlington’s game against Orlando to get some reps. He may be in line for a bigger role as the season progresses…

The Renegades were part of a three-team trade this week, acquiring WR JaVonta Payton from the Guardians, sending TE Alex Ellis to DC. Ellis had been a weekly inactive for Arlington as the team’s fourth-string TE. Payton provides Arlington another offensive weapon for a side of the ball that has been sputtering…Despite a so-so game against Orlando, QB Kyle Sloter is officially listed as starter on the team’s week four depth chart. He shared that designation with Drew Plitt for week three…Two linebackers will be out due to injury for week four: Otaro Alaka and Edmond Robinson. This is Alaka’s third game missed due to an ankle ailment…The Renegades are hosting a watch party at Dave & Buster’s on Sunday for their away game against St. Louis.

Beer Snake Audi Field, DC Defenders
Beer Snake Audi Field, DC Defenders (@XFLDefenders)

DC Defenders

The Beer Snake made its illustrious return to Audi Field on Sunday, with two Beer Snakes eventually combined into one….Punter Daniel Whelan was first up to kick off against St. Louis, rather than kicker Matt McCrane. Whelan does have experience kicking field goals, so it’s not unfamiliar territory for him. After booming a touchback on the first kickoff of the game (which places the ball at the 35-yard line), though, Whelan gave way to McCrane on kickoffs for the rest of the afternoon…DC’s starting offensive line against St. Louis was as follows: Liam Ryan at C, D’Marcus Hayes at LT, Rod Taylor at LG, Liam Fornadel at RG, and Kyle Murphy at RT. In part because of injuries, only one player, Fornadel was starting at the same position listed on the depth chart. TJ Storment also rotated in at RT…D’Eriq King’s first snaps at QB came midway through the second quarter against the Battlehawks…

Two players were suspended for the end-of-game fracas that took place against the Battlehawks. LB Francis Bernard got a two-game ban, and DT Gabe Wright will miss one game. In addition, fines were levied to CB Anthoula Kelly, LB Jamal Brooks, G Rod Taylor, and assistant coach Jeremy Watkins…The Defenders made two trades this week, acquiring TE Alex Ellis in a three-team deal with Arlington and Orlando. They traded OT TJ Storment to the Guardians. OT Gunnar Vogel was signed to replace Storment as a backup linemen. Vogel recently played in the USFL. Ellis will add depth to a TE position struck by injury, as starter Ethan Wolf will be out two weeks with ankle and knee problems, and Briley Moore has been battling a knee issue of his own…

The team also traded CB Joshua Allen to Vegas for OT Antonio Garcia. On their week four depth chart, Garcia slots in at backup LT…DC cut RB/WR Pooka Williams and G Rod Taylor and signed a trio of players in S Montae Nicholson, LB Terrill Hanks, and DT Denzel Chuwukelu. Hanks was a Supplemental Draft selection by the Defenders and Chukwukelu was in camp with the Brahmas. Nicholson was a fourth-round pick of the Washington Commanders in 2017 and played 35 games over three seasons with them…Wolf and C Ty Clary are the only players listed as “out” this week on the injury report. The team may be getting Mike Maietti back at center after a multi-game absence – he’s listed as “questionable”…The Defenders are hosting a fan rally on Saturday at Solace Outpost from 2-5pm.

Houston Roughnecks

John Yarbrough started at RG against San Antonio for Dareuan Parker, who was inactive. Ryan Pope got some play at RT in place of Tommy Champion; same with Dylan Pasquali at RG…Houston participates in the first regular-season rematch of 2023 against the Guardians, a team they defeated 33-12 in week one…The Roughnecks signed LB Caliph Brice, who they acquired via trade from the Defenders at the end of January but didn’t end up making the team out of training camp. He will back up Tavante Beckett at LB. In a corresponding move, they placed CB Alexander Myres on the reserve list…

Houston also re-signed CB David Tolentino, Jr. Tolentino was featured on the Player 54: Chasing the XFL Dream documentary as a player who didn’t end up making the team…A change on the depth chart from week three is that instead of three receivers and an H-Back being listed as starters, it’s now four receivers. Travell Harris moves into the starting lineup as a fourth receiver in place of H-Back Nick Holley, now listed as a backup to Harris…Former Dallas Cowboy great DeMarcus Ware stopped by to visit practice this past week…Attendance for Houston’s third home game in week three was down just 400 from its week two game, and down about 1,400 from week one. They go on the road for the first time in week four.

Florida fan-favorite Quarterback Quinton Flowers is back in the XFL.


The situation surrounding QB Quinten Dormady is still up in the air. XFL Board reported that an independent law firm has been hired by the XFL to investigate the alleged incident. He remains on the team’s reserve list. Replacing him as the third quarterback on the roster is Quinton Flowers, who played for the Tampa Bay Vipers in the XFL in 2020 and has played in Fan Controlled Football since then…One change along a beleaguered offensive line for week three: Brett Boyko started at LT in place of Ja’Chai Baker. Baker ended up being waived by Orlando after the game, susequently claimed by the Brahmas…

Orlando offensive coordinator Robert Ford switched positions and was down on the field calling plays rather than doing so from the booth…With just two RBs active in week three, WR Deddrick Thomas saw some snaps in the backfield and even carried the ball once. He’s now listed as the team’s third-string RB on their week four depth chart. He’s also listed as a backup receiver…Orlando continued to add to their offensive line by acquiring OT TJ Storment from the Defenders. They sent WR JaVonta Payton to Arlington in what was a three-team deal. Storment is already listed as Orlando’s starting RT on their depth chart. Payton was a starter at the “X” receiver spot going into week three; he’s replaced by Lance Lenoir there for week four…

The team bolstered their defensive backfield by signing NFL veteran CB Tye Smith. Smith has 64 tackles and an interception across 45 NFL games…Abdul Beecham moves from starter at RT to starter at LG on the latest depth chart, bumping David Moore to backup…S Marcus Murphy Jr. is now listed as starter at FS over previous starter Najeem Hosein…RB Devin Darrington, initially pegged as the starter at that position coming out of camp, was activated from injured reserve. Kelvin Taylor, who has carried 20 times for 84 yards, was released to make room for Darrington…Also activated from IR was CB CJ Holmes, the first overall pick in the Defensive Backs Phase of November’s draft. S Roman Tatum was placed on IR.

San Antonio Brahmas

Hines Ward mentioned ahead of San Antonio’s game with Houston that it was the first game in which all five of their starting linemen were starting together. Left to right along the line, it was Chidi Okeke, Maea Teuhema, Luke Juriga, Norman Price, Derrick Kelly. Both Price and Kelly were returning from injury. Kelly, however, was reinjured on the first drive as he was replaced for the rest of the game by Roubbens Joseph. Kelly was then placed on injured reserve…San Antonio claimed former Guardians starting OT Ja’Chai Baker off waivers to replace Kelly…The Brahmas made a number of other transactions this week. They placed G Jordan McCray back on the reserve list – it’s unclear whether he was ever actually activated or it was just a website error as he hasn’t played in a game nor was he listed on the gameday inactive list since his supposed activation…

The team also signed WR Emmanuel Butler, G Mike Brown, and DE Shakir Soto. They released OT Kai Absheer and TE Ben Beise. Butler was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent out of Northern Arizona in 2019. Brown, too, is a former Saint and DC Defender, as well as a USFL alum. Soto was a Supplemental Draft pick of the St. Louis Battlehawks, but didn’t make the team. Absheer was inactive last week and Beise has mostly played special teams…Five players will miss Saturday night’s contest against the Sea Dragons due to injury: DE Delontae Scott, DE Mike Scott, WR TJ Vasher, OT Chidi Okeke and DT Kobe Smith. With Kelly back on IR, it leaves the Brahmas dangerously thin at the tackle position.

#25 Seattle Sea Dragons Morgan Ellison.
XFL Seattle Sea Dragons #25 Morgan Ellison. Is he ready to play this week? (XFL Twitter)

Seattle Sea Dragons

Seattle continued to rotate their offensive linemen in week three, playing Chris Owens and Josh Seltzner at LG, as well as Mike Menet and Tejan Koroma at RG against Vegas…RB Morgan Ellison was injured in the game against Vegas last Saturday, but should be good to go this week. Seattle placed RB Brendan Knox on IR after the game and signed RB Darius Bradwell to back up Ellison and TJ Hammonds at the position. Bradwell didn’t make the team after entering the league as a Battlehawk Supplemental Draft selection…

DE Chris Smith was also added to the roster. The pass-rush specialist has been a part of seven NFL teams since being a fifth round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2014. He’ll look to inject some life into Seattle’s front seven, as they are tied for a league-low in sacks with four…In a corresponding move, DT PJ Hall was placed on IR…Five players are listed as “questionable” for Saturday night’s game against the Brahmas, including starters LB Jordan Evans, CB Chris Jones, and Ellison.

St. Louis Battlehawks fans flocked to The Dome in 2020, setting attendance records for the league. On Sunday March 12, 2023, they get to continue where they left off.
St. Louis Battlehawks fans flocked to The Dome in 2020, setting attendance records for the league. On Sunday March 12, 2023, they get to continue where they left off.

St. Louis Battlehawks

The Battlehawks are the last team to have their first home game, coming up this weekend. They have opened extra sections for the game, and co-owner Dwayne Johnson is publicly expecting in excess of 30,000 fans. They’ve also opened the 300 section for their second home game as well…A Friday evening update from WrestleTix on Twitter shows 34,000 tickets out…TE Jake Sutherland scored his first touchdown since 2017 in St. Louis’s loss to DC. Since Sutherland’s last TD, he has played in the AAF and XFL in 2020 with the New York Guardians…

The Battlehawks felt the wrath of league president Russ Brandon following their scuffle with the Defenders at the conclusion of that game. OT Jarryd Jones-Smith, the team’s starting left tackle, has been suspended for two games for his role in the brawl. Also fined were S Nate Meadors, LB Travis Feeney, RB Brian Hill, and assistant coach Tory Woodbury…Starting WR Marcell Ateman has been placed on injured reserve, while the team signed a pair of former Defenders in WR Chad Hansen and RB/WR Pooka Williams. St. Louis’s week four depth chart has not been updated to reflect this week’s roster changes.

Vegas Vipers

The Vipers were reported to have parted ways with their offensive coordinator, Duane Taylor, on Friday. The news was broken by Matty Fresh on Twitter, confirmed by XFL News Hub’s Mike Mitchell. As of Saturday morning, no official announcement has been made by the team or the league. Vegas currently ranks fourth in the XFL in passing yards and sixth in rushing. The team is 0-3 and is coming off a 30-26 loss to the Sea Dragons at home. It is expected that WR coach Ray Sherman, who coordinated the offenses of three teams during his time in the NFL, will take over play-calling duties…

Vegas traded OT Antonio Garcia to the Defenders in exchange for CB Joshua Allen. Garcia had been listed as a backup left tackle for the Vipers…OL Tony Adams was activated from the reserve list this week, which may have been why the Vipers felt comfortable trading Garcia…The team also added G Rod Taylor, another former Defender, and placed starting C Khalil McKenzie on IR. McKenzie had been PFF’s highest-graded offensive player for Vegas. He’ll likely be replaced at the position by Dohnovan West…

On its injury report this week, Vegas lists eight players as “questionable”…The Defenders will host Vegas this week in a week two rematch. In the first game, DC outlasted Vegas amid wet and rainy conditions at Cashman Field. At Audi Field, we’ll get a little better idea of how the teams truly match up…Aside from the roster moves, there were no changes on the depth chart from week three to week four.

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