Around the XFL – Saturday, March 4

Renegades are going with Kyle Sloter to start at QB against the Guardians
Renegades are going with Kyle Sloter to start at QB against the Guardians.

Arlington Renegades

The big news out of Arlington is that the Renegades are going with Kyle Sloter to start at QB against the Guardians over Drew Plitt, who led the team through the first two games. The switch was first reported by the Dallas Morning News. Head Coach Bob Stoops was quoted in the story as saying that the competition in training camp was very close and that Sloter has had success profesionally elsewhere…Edge defender Aaron Adeoye was placed on injured reserve this week, and the team signed DE/LB Bunmi Rotimi. Rotimi was with the New York Guardians in 2020 and has spent time since then with the Washington Commanders in the NFL. Per the team’s week three depth chart, Rotimi will back up Edmond Robinson at OLB. OT Teton Saltes was also placed on IR, while OT Darta Lee was signed. A late transaction, made on Friday was the release of RB Keith Ford and the re-signing of RB Kenneth Farrow, who was in camp with Arlington. Ford had just 35 yards on 15 carries through two games…

On the injury front, only one player is slated to miss Sunday’s tilt against Orlando: S Jamal Carter, who apparently got hurt in practice as he did not appear on the team’s injury report until Friday…Pro Football Focus has posted grades for XFL players through two weeks. They are available for those with a PFF Premium subscription. Pacing Arlington’s offense is Ford, interestingly enough, and TE Alex Ellis, though they’ve had limited snaps. The highest-ranked starter is G Mike Horton. On defense, CB Josh Hawkins picked up where he left off in 2020 with a grade above 90.0. Second place is DT Tomasi Laulile.

DC Defenders

DC will be without its top two centers in a key matchup with XFL North division rival St. Louis. Both Mike Maietti and Ty Clary will miss the game – they were ruled out early in the week, with Maietti’s injury slated to sideline him anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Maietti already missed week two, while Clary was injured against Vegas. He was replaced by Liam Ryan, the starter at left guard. Rod Taylor then took over at LG. Bruno Reagan, who played for the Battlehawks in 2020 and in the USFL last year, was signed this week to give them depth along the interior of the line. Starting OT Cody Conway was placed on IR in a corresponding move…

DC’s injury report is the lengthiest in the league. In addition to Conway, Maietti and Clary, also listed as “out” for Sunday are TE Briley Moore and DT Caraun Reid…It appears as if the Beer Snake will be making its return to Audi Field this weekend. After security angered fans on opening weekend by not allowing the iconic alcohol-related reptile, DC has teased its return on social media…The team has apparently opened more seats for Sunday’s battle of unbeatens…DC’s top offensive performer, per PFF, is QB D’Eriq King with a grade of 84.6. He’s followed by RB Ryquell Armstead and Conway. Defensively, the highest graded players are EDGE Jarrell Owens, LB Jamal Brooks, and CB KJ Sails.

Houston Roughnecks

Houston will be the first team to host three home games when they welcome the San Antonio Brahmas this weekend. The drop in attendance was just 1,000 from week one to week two. With a 2-0 record and a visit from in-state rival San Antonio, we’ll see if they can perhaps improve on those figures…LB Nate Wieland was placed on IR and Houston signed LB Aaron Donkor. Donkor was part of the NFL’s International Pathway Program and ended the most recent NFL season on the practice squad of the Seattle Seahawks…

Houston is one of the healthiest teams in the league, with only two players appearing on the weekly injury report, both listed as “probable” for Sunday’s game…The scouting of potential players for the league doesn’t end when the season begins: Roughnecks Director of Player Personnel Marc Lillibridge recently tweeted that he was on his way to the NFL Combine, which is taking place this week. We’ll see if DPPs attend college pro days coming up, or, if like last year, league personnel will handle those trips…Houston has three part-time players who appear atop PFF’s rankings offensively: WR Ben Putman, RB Max Borghi, and RB Brycen Alleyne. Defensively, 11 players have scores above a 70.0 (on a 0-100 scale), led by EDGE John Daka, LB Tavante Beckett, EDGE Tim Ward, and DT CJ Brewer, all 89.0 or better.

Orlando Guardians

The situation surrounding QB Quentin Dormady continues to be up in the air. The XFL announced they are investigating accusations that Dormady shared the team’s plays with a member of another squad, which allegedly led to his release from the Guardians. Per the XFL’s PR statement, Dormady has been reinstated as the investigation continues. editor Mark Nelson had an update on the situation in a post early this weekend. It seems like an untenable situation no matter what the XFL finds: Either Dormady is guilty and he’s released again; or he didn’t share plays, and his relationship with the team is likely beyond repair anyway given how it was initially handled. Dormady currently appears on the team’s reserve list…

To add to Orlando’s mounting woes, the Guardians lost their punter, Johnny Townsend, to injury on Sunday. It likely came on his punt that was blocked in the third quarter. Replacing him will be Mac Brown, who played collegiately at Ole Miss. Brown attended the Nick Novak Specialist Showcase in front of XFL coaches and scouts back in October after participating in rookie minicamp with the Kansas City Chiefs last May…There was more roster churn for Orlando mid-week as they released WR Stephen Guidry and WR Dontez Byrd, claiming WR Dan Williams off waivers from San Antonio and adding DL Dalyn Wade-Perry. Wade-Perry was in camp with Orlando in January…

In addition, they released reserve OT Sunday Deng. The Guardians signed TE Jalyen Smith and OT Brett Boyko. Smith was in camp with the Battlehawks this year, while Boyko has played predominanly in the CFL…Backup DE Emmanuel Olenga is the only player expected to miss this week’s game due to injury…Per PFF, Orlando’s top-ranked offensive players through two games are WR JaVonta Payton, WR/TE Cody Latimer, and Dormady. Three of their starting linemen are in the bottom five for rankings. On defense, two players grade above 80.0: S Marcus Murphy and LB Terrance Plummer.

San Antonio Brahmas Cornerback Ranthony Texada
San Antonio Brahmas Cornerback Ranthony Texada

San Antonio Brahmas

One roster move for the team this week, as CB Stephen Denmark, who was just signed prior to last week’s game, was placed on IR, replaced by S Divine Buckrham. Buckrham was in camp with the Brahmas and tried out in rookie minicamp last May with the Pittsburgh Steelers…DE Mike Scott is out for this week’s game due to injury, while two players are listed as “questionable”: WR Jalen Toliver and TE Alize Mack. Mack would be a big loss given the offense he generated last week…

The Brahmas now have their own section in the San Antonio Express-News website’s sports section…San Antonio will look to hand the Roughnecks their first loss in franchise history. Houston was 5-0 prior to the XFL’s shutdown in 2020, and are 2-0 to start the season this year…PFF reports G Maea Teuhema as the highest-rated offensive player for the Brahmas, and the highest-rated guard in the league. WR Fred Brown is San Antonio’s second-best offensive performer through two games. QB Jack Coan is the XFL’s top-rated passer. Defensively for the Brahmas, it’s CB Ranthony Texada who tops the list, followed by EDGE Delontae Scott and CB Luq Barcoo.

Seattle Sea Dragons

Seattle faces Vegas Saturday night on extra rest, having last played on Thursday the 23rd. The Sea Dragons and Vipers, both with hard-luck 0-2 records, will be desperate for a win…The extra rest hasn’t helped clear Seattle’s injury report. Nine players appear there, with RB Brendan Knox listed as “out.” S Rojesterman Farris and LB Jordan Evans are “doubtful”…With Knox out, Seattle has just one other RB rostered: Morgan Ellison. TJ Hammonds, drafted by the Sea Dragons as a RB but who has played WR this year, could see some snaps in the backfield. So could TE Charlie Tamuoepeau, according to a Seattle Times story on him…

DT Treyvon Hester was placed on injured reserve, while LB Sharif Finch was signed. Hester has made two tackles on the year. Finch played for the Tennessee Titans in 2021 when Sea Dragons Head Coach Jim Haslett served as their inside linebackers coach…Seattle is advertising a watch party at Flatstick Pub as the team is away again playing in Las Vegas…Leading the team’s offensive PFF grades is the aforementioned Taumoepeau, who has just 11 snaps in two games. OT Colin Kelly, a late addition to the team from the CFL, still managed to put up the second-best offensive score. On defense, it’s EDGE Tuzar Skipper leading the way, followed by Hester and EDGE Clarence Hicks.

Pro Footbal Focus has WR Austin Proehl as the top-rated Battlehawk offensive player
Pro Footbal Focus has WR Austin Proehl as the top-rated Battlehawk offensive player

St. Louis Battlehawks

The team had to make a coaching change amid their 2-0 start, as LB Coach Dave Steckel stepped down and was replaced by Chris Claiborne. Steckel has been coaching since the early 1980s. Claiborne was a first round pick of the Detroit Lions in 1999, and was most recently Arizona State’s LB Coach in 2021 and 2022…QB AJ McCarron was the subject of’s latest “Know My Name” feature, written by Peter Warren…It does not appear as though St. Louis made any transactions between week two and week three. They have only four players on their reserve list, the fewest in the league…

St. Louis is also relatively healthy, with five players appearing on their injury report this week but all getting in at least a limited practice…Pro Football Focus has WR Austin Proehl as the top-rated Battlehawk offensive player. Right behind him in second is McCarron, with RB Brian Hill in third. The top two defensive players have played just 17 snaps combined: EDGE Travis Feeney and LB Tre Watson. Third place is the first full-time player, S Ben DeLuca.

Vegas Vipers

Cashman Field gets another Saturday night game, as the Vipers host the Sea Dragons on FX. The team is advertising the weather outlook (“no rain”) in a comedic way to try to attract more fans to the stadium…Despite ceding much of the playing time to Brett Hundley last week, Luis Perez is still listed as the starter at QB on this week’s depth chart. Keep in mind, these are unofficial…

The Vipers placed DT Destiny Vaeao on IR this week, leaving them one open roster spot they’ve yet to fill…Only two offensive players have a PFF grade above 70.0 for Vegas: WR Cinque Sweeting and TE Travis Koontz, both in limited snaps over the first two games. On defense, LB Pita Taumoepenu leads the team with an 86.7, with Vaeao in second and S Adam Sparks in third.

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