PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When the Steelers were injury-riddled early this season, they thought they were going to rely on a familiar face for help.
But, when push came to shove, the former Steelers backup was not available.
That’s right, the XFL was not going to allow any players signed under contract for their upcoming season to go to the NFL.
According to an article from the Tampa Bay Times, the Steelers attempted to bring back long-time backup quarterback Landry Jones for depth at the position. Ben Roethlisberger went down for the season in Week 2, Josh Dobbs was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a draft pick, and the only quarterbacks left on the roster at the time was Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges.
“ICYMI: Talked to #XFL commissioner Oliver Luck about the state of the league, lessons he has learned from the AAF, the #Steelers trying to steal his quarterbacks and whether we could ever see Colin Kaepernick take snaps. Here’s what he had to say:”
ICYMI: Talked to #XFL commissioner Oliver Luck about the state of the league, lessons he has learned from the AAF, the #Steelers trying to steal his quarterbacks and whether we could ever see Colin Kaepernick take snaps. Here's what he had to say: https://t.co/lsq9F4Kt8a #XFL2020
— Thomas Bassinger (@tometrics) December 12, 2019
The article says XFL commissioner Oliver Luck denied Pittsburgh from plucking Jones, who was selected to be a starting quarterback for the Dallas Renegades next year. Jones was the first player to sign an XFL contract this Fall.
The Steelers made a second attempt to request for XFL talent as well. While prepping for the Baltimore Ravens earlier this season, Pittsburgh wanted Phillip Walker as a scout team representation of Lamar Jackson for the week. So they called Oliver Luck once again, and were denied once more.
Oliver Luck says he is not opposed to letting XFL players join the NFL, and hopes that once the XFL season is over, the players find NFL jobs for the Fall. Luck claims he does not want the XFL players constantly rotating in and out of the organizations.
But some good probably came from the denial of Landry Jones to the Steelers. If Jones would have been allowed to return to Pittsburgh, then Devlin Hodges may not have been given the chance to run the offense, and the Steelers may not be 8-5 at this point in the season.
The XFL plans to begin it’s relaunch in 2020 following the NFL’s Super Bowl in February.