Week five of the XFL appears to have more storylines coming in than fans have seen all season. Before Sunday’s games, injuries have had a significant impact on some teams at key positions. Quinton Flowers returned to the Tampa Bay Vipers working hard at practice with some demands, while a pair defensive backs got cut from their respective teams. Here’s a look at some storylines heading into week five.
Landry Jones Injury Update
The Dallas Renegades received some good news, and bad news. A piece of good news is their quarterback Landry Jones won’t be out for the season. However, Jones is expected to miss two more weeks. The team announced Monday that an MRI showed that Jones reaggravated his left knee. He initially injured the knee back in week one of training camp, and has been wearing a knee brace the whole season. The brace he was wearing might have prevented the injury from being worse. Jones injured the knee while doing a quarterback sneak in their 27-20 loss to the Houston Roughnecks.
Philip Nelson will be making his second start of the season Saturday against the New York Guardians. Quarterback Eric Dungey returned to the team after his father passed away causing him to step away from the team. Dallas signed Brogan Roback last week after Dungey left the team. Jones could be back in time for their week seven matchup against the Tampa Bay Vipers.
Quinton Flowers Seeks Trade
Tampa Bay Vipers quarterback Quinton Flowers made headlines last week when he left the team. Flowers had previously had a big first half against the Houston Roughnecks going 4-6 for 51 passing yards. It was his legs that gained interest with his 29 rush yards and a rushing touchdown that gave Tampa Bay the lead in the second quarter. Taylor Cornelius replaced him the whole second half. Flowers reportedly got frustrated with his playing time and wants out of Tampa Bay.
He returned to the team this week with a nice added twist. Flowers worked out with the running backs as starter De’ Veon Smith has been working through a foot injury. He confirmed he wishes to be traded, but will continue to play for the team.
“I’m not a quitter,” said Flowers in Wednesday’s press conference. “I’m doing it for the kids that look up to me. I want to finish off strong. We’ll see what God has in front of me and not behind me.”
Coach Marc Trestman did comment on the situation mentioning that he didn’t demand a trade with them. Trestman did talk about how he and Flowers spoke about his usage in their offense. “His presence here, his demeanor, was great. We talked to him to [Tuesday] to make sure he understood what is at stake. We’ll have things for Q in there as we move through the week, and we’ll see where he’s at.”
Taylor Cornelius will start at quarterback this Sunday against the LA Wildcats with Aaron Murray as the backup.
XFL Cuts Include Matt Elam, Jalen Collins
The XFL transactions page provided some interesting news that involved two impactful defensive players. DC Defenders starting safety, Matt Elam got waived by the team after four games. Elam had started all four games and recorded 15 total tackles and an interception. His release has not been addressed by DC yet, but it was a head-scratching move from a team that has lost two straight games. The defense hasn’t played as well, but Elam has been one of their best defensive players, so questions will be asked.
Another defensive player, Jalen Collins, got cut by Tampa Bay Vipers. Collins has been fighting injuries all season so far and has not stepped on the field yet. He was suppose to start, but the defense played well without him. After a dominating performance against the DC Defenders in the shutout win Sunday, the team must feel good with their current secondary moving forward.
LA Kicker Nick Novak on IR
One of the well-known kickers in the league, Nick Novak got placed on the IR after four games with the LA Wildcats. LA then signed Giorgio Tavecchio to replace him. Novak had a season to forget after he went 2-5 on field goals this season in the XFL. Tavecchio has a great opportunity to run away with the job. He last kicked for the Atlanta Falcons in 2018.
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