Lions sign QB Jordan Ta’amu, RB Jordan Scarlett to practice squad

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Erik Schlitt
·2 min read
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The Detroit Lions announced they have signed quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and running back Jordan Scarlett to the practice squad, releasing punter Aaryn Siposs and running back Dalyn Dawkins — as we reported earlier today — in corresponding moves.

With Stafford ailing this week, Ta’amu gives the Lions depth at the position, but he carries long-term value as well and could be a candidate for a futures deal at the end of the season.

Ta’amu originally signed with the Houston Texans after the 2019 draft, but after not making it out of training camp, elected to join the XFL to lead the St. Louis Battlehawks. As their starting quarterback. Ta’amu played in five games, threw for 1,050 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception. Additionally, he rushed for 217 yards (5.3 yards average) and a touchdown.

After the XFL ended, he joined the Kansas City Chiefs but was once again waived after training camp and this time joined their practice squad. He was released by the Chiefs in late October and received a tryout with the Lions but did not sign. After a second tryout with the Lions this week, he earned a spot on their practice squad.

With a strong arm and the anticipation to hit tough windows, Ta’amu can hit receivers on all three levels while in the pocket or on the move. His decision making is a work in progress, which is why time on an NFL practice squad could do wonders for his development.

Here’s a sampling of my draft profile of Ta’amu from our 2019 quarterback draft combine preview:

Mississippi’s system did Ta’amu no favors in preparing him for the next level but the arm talent, accuracy and mobility illustrate a Jacoby Brissett-type upside. Ta’amu’s ability to consistently hit vertical passes will make him intriguing for a team like the Lions as long as they are willing to wait for his mental processing skills to develop.

Scarlett was a fifth-round pick (154 overall) in the 2019 draft by the Carolina Panthers and played in nine games during his rookie season but only rushed the ball four times for nine yards. He finished his rookie year by being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury and then was released after 2020 training camp.

While Dawkins was more of a scatback, Scarlett leans more towards the power game. He has solid contact balance and is a rotational back at best but talented enough to get a closer look at.

Siposs deserves another shot at punting in the NFL, but with the season Jack Fox has put together, the Lions have identified their punter of the future.