ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions wasted little time kicking the tires on a quarterback with Matthew Stafford landing on the COVID-19 reserve list. Detroit hosted quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and linebacker Daniel Bituli for tryouts per Wednesday’s transaction wire.
Ta’amu was last spotted on Kansas City’s practice squad but was released shortly after being activated from the COVID list late last month. He’s most remembered for his two seasons at Ole Miss, not to mention leading the St. Louis BattleHawks of the short-lived XFL 2.0.
The Lions split reps between quarterbacks Chase Daniel and David Blough at Wednesday’s practice without Stafford per the pool report. Detroit paid Daniel $13 million in the offseason to be Stafford’s primary backup, and it would be surprising if he weren’t first in line for playing time. Blough started five games last season and was recently promoted from the practice squad to prevent the Dallas Cowboys from signing him away. Daniel is under contract for three seasons, and it’s clear 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 suit up this weekend against the Vikings in Minnesota. ESPN reports Stafford is considered a “high-risk close contact,” which means he must isolate for at least five days. The quarterback won’t be allowed to practice this week but could play if he returns consecutive negative tests. The NFL Network reports Stafford will have to fly solo on a private plane to Minnesota due to the five-day isolation window lifting on game day.
Ta’amu would add another developmental quarterback to Detroit’s roster. He started 12 games in the SEC in 2018 but went undrafted following 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 another 217 yards and one score on the ground.
Bituli’s tryout comes in the aftermath of linebacker Jarrad Davis landing on the COVID reserve list. Bituli went undrafted out of Tennessee last year and hasn’t appeared in an NFL game. He previously spent time with the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad.