WASHINGTON — There will be no 12th Man in Seattle for Week 6 of XFL play against Los Angeles. It was announced on Wednesday that no fans would be allowed to cheer on the Dragons (1-4) at Centurylink this weekend when they take on the Los Angeles Wildcats (2-3). Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, Washington Governor Jay Inslee banned gatherings of more than 250 people.
One has to wonder how this will affect XFL betting across the league as well. Bettors will take into account players that may be affected by the virus.
Seattle has averaged more than 25,000 fans through their first two games and is known for having the 12th Man on the field — The Fans.
“That’s the disappointing thing,” said Dragon Head Coach Jim Zorn. “We’re disappointed that our fans can’t be there because we’ve got some great support. They’re going to have to tailgate and not come in.”
They have been stressing health practices since the first positive case for the virus was announced and continue to do so through the increasing intensity of health concerns.
Dragon Roster Size Expands to 56
There will be fewer fans in the stands, but more men on the field. The XFL has an active Team 9 that finally came to fruition at the halfway point of the season. Beginning this week, XFL teams can expand their rosters up to 57 players.
XFL teams don’t have practice squads, so something has to give to account for injuries and other factors that affect containing a competitive program. Team 9 was that answer. They have practiced in Arlington, TX at the same venue as the Renegades, but had a different coaching staff.
Additions to Seattle:
- QB Justin Holman – UCF
- WR Mikah Holder – SDSU
- WR KD Cannon – Baylor
- CB Jermaine Ponder – St. Francis (PA)
- DE Martin Ifedi – Memphis (Not from Team 9)
Daniels Heading the Offense
The Week 4 loss to the undefeated Houston Roughnecks was the first full-game with BJ Daniels heading the offense.
“I know what it is to be without,” said Daniels on his passion for football, “I’ve had the opportunity to put a helmet back on and it’s been a blessing and very exciting.”
Daniels has played in only three halves in the XFL but has helped the Dragons to their first rushing touchdown, opening up the field with his own run game. He is fourth in the XFL in rushing among all quarterbacks with 94 yards, just five yards short of Roughneck QB PJ Walker.
Scouting the Opponent
The Wildcats are a hard team to read. They are coming off a 41-34 win over Tampa Bay and have the ability to put points on the board. They scored 27 unanswered points that game for a comeback victory. LA averages 25.8 points per game (second only to Houston) against Seattle’s 17.4 and had a dominating 39-9 performance against the DC Defenders (3-2) in Week 3.
Josh Johnson leads the explosive offense. He is second to Houston’s QB Walker in passing yards. Johnson has accumulated 1076 yards for 11 touchdowns. Wide receiver, Tre McBride, is on the receiving end of that number. McBride is fifth in the XFL in receiving yards racking up 271 yards for four touchdowns.
While the Wildcats have made a name for themselves putting points on the board, their defense has allowed the most points against (122) in the XFL. Seattle is a close second to last allowing 119 points in the past five games.
While the Coronavirus is the scare of Seattle, the Dragons’ number one concern on the field is the task ahead.
“We practice every day with no fans in the stands,” said Zorn, “so our concern is it’s a divisional opponent and a very good football team and that’s what we’re preparing for.”
The 12th Man can’t watch the game live in Seattle against Los Angeles this Sunday, but ESPN 2 will cover the game at 4:00 PM PT.