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Lions welcome ex-XFL QB Jordan Ta’amu for tryout on same day Matthew Stafford lands on COVID roster

ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions wasted little time kicking the tires of a quarterback with Matthew Stafford lands on the COVID-19 reserve list. Detroit hosted quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and linebacker Daniel Bituli for tryouts by Wednesday’s trade wire.

Ta’amu was last spotted on Kansas City’s practice squad but was released shortly after being activated from the COVID roster late last month. He is best remembered for his two seasons at Ole Miss, not to mention leading the St. Louis BattleHawks of the short-lived XFL 2.0.

Related: Lions QB Matthew Stafford lands on COVID roster, could yet return in time to face Vikings

The Lions split reps between quarterbacks Chase Daniel and David Blough in Wednesday’s practice without Stafford, according to the pool report. Detroit paid Daniel $13 million this offseason to be Stafford’s main replacement, and it would be surprising if he wasn’t the first to play. Blough started five games last season and was recently promoted from the practice squad to keep the Dallas Cowboys from signing him. Daniel is under contract for three seasons, and it is clear that Blough remains in the team’s plans with the recent protections.

It’s important to note that Stafford has a window that could still see him play this weekend against the Vikings in Minnesota. ESPN reports Stafford is considered a ‘high-risk close contact’, meaning he must self-isolate for at least five days. The quarterback won’t be allowed to practice this week but could play if he returns back-to-back negative tests. The NFL Network reports Stafford will have to fly solo on a private plane to Minnesota due to the lifting of the five-day isolation window on game day.

Ta’amu would add another developing quarterback to Detroit’s roster. He started 12 games in the SEC in 2018 but was not drafted after his senior season. Ta’amu spent time with Houston’s practice squad before finding a home in the revived XFL. He started all five games, completing 97 of 134 passes for 1,050 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions for the BattleHawks. Ta’amu added 217 more yards and a rushing score.

Bituli’s tryout comes following the arrival of linebacker Jarrad Davis on the COVID reserve roster. Bituli was not drafted from Tennessee last year and has not played in an NFL game. He previously spent time with the Los Angeles Rams practice squad.

Related: Detroit Lions place linebacker Jarrad Davis on COVID-19 reserve list