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XFL denies Detroit Lions’ request to re-sign QB Josh Johnson

This is a real headline. This is not the onion.

Detroit Lions v Cleveland Browns Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Just in case your Monday morning wasn’t bad enough, ESPN’s Adam Schefter dropped some embarrassing news about the Detroit Lions.

Per Schefter, the Lions tried to re-sign backup quarterback Josh Johnson. Unfortunately for them, Johnson was assigned to the Los Angeles Wildcats, an XFL team, last week. Therefore, the XFL denied the Lions’ request.

This story is puzzling for so many reasons. For one, it’s unclear why the Lions are looking to re-sign Johnson after they clearly decided he wasn’t going to be their backup quarterback when they released him back in mid-September.

On one hand, they may not be happy with the work of Jeff Driskel, who threw three interceptions in a losing effort against a 1-9 Washington team Sunday. Maybe they don’t like how David Blough is developing as the third-stringer.

Or, perhaps, this is a sign that Matthew Stafford is finally heading to injured reserve, and they’re simply looking to fill his spot with a third quarterback. After all, Schefter also did report on Sunday that the Lions are finally having that tough conversation about shutting Stafford down.

Then there’s the added embarrassment that the XFL—a league that doesn’t even really exist yet—was able to deny Detroit’s modest request.

In the end, it doesn’t really amount to anything. It’s not like 33-year-old Josh Johnson was going to come in and do anything to change this franchise. Still, it’s just one of those odd stories you feel compelled to share, because, of course, something as dumb as this would happen to the Detroit Lions the morning after their worst loss of the season.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Josh Johnson was part of the XFL’s supplemental draft. He was not.