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Detroit Lions signing all-XFL center after Ross Pierschbacher injury

The Detroit Lions are signing XFL star center Alex Mollette after backup Ross Pierschbacher was injured in the preseason opener vs. the Giants.

Detroit Lions v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

According to Aaron Wilson, the Detroit Lions are signing former XFL center Alex Mollette to their 90-man roster.

Mollette is coming off a year in the XFL where he was named to the 2023 All-XFL team with the Houston Roughnecks. He was part of an offense that finished the season second in rushing yards and third in yards per carry (4.4). Per PFF—yes, there are XFL grades on PFF—Mollette was the highest-graded center in the league, with an overall grade of 74.6. He was particularly great as a pass blocker (86.2 grade). He only allowed four pressures and a single sack over 11 games.

Prior to his time in the NFL, Mollette started in games in five different seasons for Marshall—playing both guard positions and finishing his college career at center for the Thundering Herd. Per PFF, he did not allow a single sack in his college career, and he finished 2021 with the ninth-highest PFF pass blocking grade (82.8).

Mollette also spent time in training camp with the Colts in 2022 and had a tryout for the Seahawks earlier this season.

Mollette’s addition comes after backup center Ross Pierschbacher suffered an injury in the preseason opener. On Sunday, the Lions cut Pierschbacher with an injury settlement, leaving a significant hole on their roster.

The Lions also reportedly worked out former USFL center Jake Lacina, but it appears they opted to go with the All-XFL player over the All-USFL player.

Last week, Lions coach Dan Campbell spoke about the value of these spring leagues to the NFL.

“I think it’s the development to be able to play and then find this talent and bring them in and now let’s see if they can play at this level against this competition,” Campbell said. “I think it’s huge. It’s big. Because ultimately, you can try to develop (in the NFL), you can do all these things, but if you can’t play the game and get reps after reps of real-time game, it’s hard to accelerate it.”

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