Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson clinches tryout as kicker in XFL

Guardian sport
<span>Photograph: Ted S Warren/AP</span>
Photograph: Ted S Warren/AP

Chad Johnson, who was named to the Pro Bowl six times as a wide receiver during his career in the NFL, is attempting a comeback in the XFL as a kicker.

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The XFL, which is aiming to fill a gap for football fans during the NFL off-season, launches at the start of February. The 42-year-old Johnson, who last played in the NFL in 2011, believes he can make it as a kicker. He said he is “as excited as hell” after securing a tryout in Houston next week, and has hopes of one day kicking in the NFL. “Pretty far fetched but imagine me being consistent during an XFL season & getting a chance at a 53 man roster in the NFL, even i don’t make it just being able to compete for a spot at a entirely different position will be so riveting,” he wrote on Twitter. Kicking duties are lighter in the XFL, where there are no extra-points kicks, than in the NFL.

Related: 'The guys I’ve tried failed miserably': could Harry Kane really make the NFL?

In December, Johnson posted a video to Instagram of himself making a 60-yard field goal, although he was kicking from a tee with no opponents. He is a keen soccer fan, and has played for the United Premier Soccer League team Boca Raton FC. He also made a brief appearance at a Professional Bull Riders event in 2011, when he lasted 1.5 seconds on a mount named Deja Blue.

A number of non-kickers have shown an interest in the specialism in recent years. US World Cup champion Carli Lloyd made an appearance at a Philadelphia Eagles preseason camp last year, where she made a number of field goals. Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane has said he would like to play in the NFL once his soccer career is over. “[The desire to play in the NFL] is real,” he told ESPN last year. “Something that in 10 or 12 years I definitely want to try.”

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