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USFL announces plans to return in spring 2022

Mike Florio and Chris Simms assess whether the roster rule changes made for COVID-19 will stay for the 2021 season and how the modified injured reserve and practice squad rules could be beneficial with an extra game.

The United States Football League is coming back.

The first incarnation of the USFL failed after three seasons when the league tried to move games to the fall and compete with the NFL in 1986, but plans to relaunch the league were announced on Thursday. Spring League founder and CEO Brian Woods has partnered with FOX Sports to bring the league back as an eight-team operation that will play in spring 2022.

“I’m extremely passionate about football and the opportunity to work with FOX Sports and to bring back the USFL in 2022 was an endeavor worth pursuing,” Woods said in a statement. “We look forward to providing players a new opportunity to compete in a professional football league and giving fans everywhere the best football viewing product possible during what is typically a period devoid of professional football.”

In addition to broadcasting games, FOX also owns a minority equity stake in the league.

Information on where teams will play and what they will be called has not been announced, although the release announcing the league’s return mentions that the new entity “retains rights to key original team names” from the original league. It does not specify which names, so we’ll have to wait to see if the Denver Gold, Tampa Bay Bandits or Memphis Showboats live to play another day.