Former NY Giants WR Alonzo Russell has solid XFL debut

Many disagreed when former NY Giants wideout Alonzo Russell was cut at the end of last year’s pre-season, and he backed up that mindset with a solid XFL debut.

One of the most controversial pre-season cuts the NY Giants made last year was the decision to move on from wideout Alonzo Russell. After being among the last group of cut players multiple times in his NFL career, Russell finally seemed to stick before Big Blue claimed Cody Core off waivers from the Bengals.

Out of most NFL options since he had already exhausted his practice squad eligibility, Russell predictably didn’t land on another NFL team in 2019. Like most in his position, he’s giving the XFL a shot as a last-ditch effort to a potential return to the NFL.

After one week, that decision seems to be paying off as Russell was one of the most impressive receivers in all of the new league. The former Toledo star hauled in three passes for 49 yards and what turned out to be the go-ahead touchdown to lead his St. Louis Battlehawks to a 15-9 victory.

If Russell catching a go-ahead touchdown sounds familiar to NY Giants fans, that’s because it should. The 6’4 wideout did the same in last year’s preseason finale against the Patriots (his second of the night) as he hauled in a Kyle Lauletta throw as time expired. Unfortunately, it would be both of their last moments as NY Giants, even though the team seemed to have a need for both of them.

Now 27-years-old, there should always be a market for a talented 6’4 wideout that has the ability to make big plays. He’ll have to have many repeat performances like this to get back on the NFL radar, but it would be beyond nice to see a guy with such bad luck finally sign a legit NFL deal.

Big Blue elected to keep T.J. Jones on the roster ahead of Russell due to his returning abilities and snagged Core to sure up its special teams unit (which always seemed curious to me as the return game means very little these days, making a gunner not be nearly as valuable as before).

Jones actually paid off by returning a punt for a TD against Buffalo, and although Core played well on specials the team was severely lacking a big-bodied receiving threat.

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