It wasn't pretty for the DC Defenders on Sunday.
For the first time in the 2020 XFL season, the Defenders fell, as the previously winless Los Angeles Wildcats blew them out, 39-9.
Defenders quarterback Cardale Jones, who was emerging as a star in the XFL through the first two weeks of the season, turned in his worst effort of the campaign. The former Ohio State star, who led the XFL in passer rating entering Week 3, threw four interceptions, no touchdowns and finished with just 103 passing yards.
Not accustomed to losing, Jones was asked postgame how the team would respond facing their first adversity of the season.
"That's not a real testament to our team," he said. "The real testament is seeing how we bounce back Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday in practice and get ready for Tampa Bay."
The loss was Jones' first as a starting quarterback since high school; he won all 11 starts with the Buckeyes and his first two starts with the Defenders. He was benched for former University of Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss.
The Defenders have the chance to bounce back next Sunday, as they travel to face the 0-3 Tampa Bay Vipers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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One month after filing for bankruptcy, the XFL is reportedly seeking new ownership in an attempt to save the league, according to Axios.
Axios obtained documents that show an investment bank, Houlihan Lokey, managing the process, with letter of intent due by June 12 and formal bids due on July 6.
The XFL claims to have been on pace to generate $46 million in revenue during its inaugural season. According to Axios' report, the league also had an average game attendance of 20,000 and 1.9 million average broadcast viewers for the nationally distributed games.
But the pandemic forced the league to cancel the rest of the season, suspend operations and lay off employees.
It was an abrupt move that left players, coaches and other team and league personnel wondering what's next. Some players parlayed XFL success to opportunities in the NFL, and former D.C. Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton landed on his feet with a professional gig with the Chargers. But that's not the case for the vast majority who were involved.
If investors chose to revive the league, it would be done in the uncertain times currently swirling during the pandemic. Complicating matters is the indefinite timetable of the pandemic's duration.
Dan Primack of Axios spoke to industry investors who are skeptical of somebody stepping forward to buy the entire league. But, those sources also acknowledged that sports can be unpredictable.
"There are lots of people who are very rich but not rich enough to own an NFL team, so maybe someone will see this as the next best thing at a bargain price," one source said.
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Former XFL Defenders coach Pep Hamilton is heading to the Chargers to be the team's new quarterbacks coach though the deal is not yet official, a source with knowledge of the situation told NBC Sports Washington's Julie Donaldson.
Hamilton led the Defenders to an exciting start in their inaugural season in Washington before league ceased operations earlier this month due to the effects of the COV-19 virus.
Before his stint at the Defenders, Hamilton worked in various roles around the NFL, most recently as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns. Immediately before coming to D.C., he was the passing game coordinator and assistant head coach at the University of Michigan.
He started his career at Howard University, where he played quarterback as a student and returned as a quarterbacks coach.
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