After a long hiatus dating back to 2001, the XFL will return in 2020 as the newest start-up professional league. Showcases will be held in eight cities, allowing former players an opportunity to earn a spot on one of the league’s eight teams in an invite-only setting. The first two showcases have come and gone, seeing a handful of former Green Bay Packers contributors test their luck.
Fullback Aaron Ripkowski, running back Christine Michael, and defensive lineman Khyri Thornton participated in the Dallas tryout on June 7th. Meanwhile, three former training camp roster players — Dillon Day, Johnathan Calvin, and LaDarius Perkins — worked out at the Houston tryout the next day.
Via my colleague @aaronjreiss, the roster for today's invite-only XFL Dallas workout. (Each XFL city will host one)— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) June 7, 2019
Some names: Landry Jones, Trevone Boykin, Keith Mumphery, Keller Chryst pic.twitter.com/h2HoHGPaUn
The most notable name on the list belongs to Ripkowski, who played three seasons for Green Bay from 2015 to 2017. The former sixth-round pick played in 47 games for the Packers and made 10 starts as the team’s fullback, succeeding John Kuhn. Ripkowski’s best season came in 2016 when he rushed 34 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns, while performing well as a core special teams player.
Thornton was a third-round pick by Green Bay in 2014, but played just one season for the Packers before journeying on with New England, Detroit, and the New York Giants over the next three seasons. The defensive lineman never lived up to his draft slot value after being a surprise pick at the time out of Southern Miss.
Day, Calvin, and Perkins are a trio of former Mississippi State Bulldogs who all spent brief time in Green Bay. A center, Day was scooped up off the Denver Broncos’ practice squad late in the 2017 season before being released during final cuts last training camp. Calvin was a 2017 undrafted signing for the Packers who was released at the end of the summer after trying out as a rush linebacker. Meanwhile, Perkins was another undrafted running back who failed to make the final roster at the end of preseason in 2014.
Several additional former Packers may be added to the list as the XFL showcases continue over the next month with stops in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle, Tampa, and St. Louis.