In a move that certainly seems like it may be related to Matthew Stafford’s rib injury, the Detroit Lions announced on Wednesday morning that former XFL quarterback Jordan Ta’amu has been signed to the team’s practice squad.
Ta’amu entered the NFL initially in 2019 as an undrafted rookie for the Houston Texans. He only last a month before Houston let him go, but he was quickly snagged up by the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks. In the shortened 2020 season for the XFL, Ta’amu emerged as a relative star. He completed 72 percent of his passes for 1,050 yards, 8.0 yards per attempt, five touchdowns and two interceptions in five games. He also posed as a significant mobile threat, racking up 217 rushing yards.
That performance earned him a shot with the Kansas City Chiefs. While he did not end up making their 53-man roster, he spent the first two months of the season on Kansas City’s practice squad. Earlier in the year, he did test positive for COVID-19, but was removed from the list on October 21, then waived from the Chiefs a few days later.
Ta’amu’s addition brings into question Stafford’s availability this week and beyond. While the Lions do have Chase Daniel and David Blough on the roster, Ta’amu brings some extra depth. It also gives the Lions a leg up if they want to offer a futures contract to Ta’amu for 2021.
That being said, the Lions are still keeping Stafford as an option on the table for this week’s game against the Titans.
“We’re going to take it to the end of the week,” interim head coach Darrell Bevell said of Stafford’s status on Wednesday. “We’re going to see how he does, and I’m totally comfortable with him not practicing and playing in the game. I’ve seen him do it.”
In addition to adding Ta’amu, the Lions have also signed running back Jordan Scarlett to their practice squad. The former Florida Gator was a fifth-round pick for the Panthers in 2019. He was mostly a special teamer in 2019, and was waived in the final round of cuts this year.
To make room for Ta’amu and Scarlett the Lions have cut punter Arryn Siposs and running back Dalyn Dawkins from the practice squad.