News Release, XFL

Washington, D.C.- History will be made in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Feb. 8, when the DC Defenders host the Seattle Dragons in the very first game of the 2020 XFL regular season.

Kickoff for the XFL season opener is set for 2 p.m. ET at Audi Field, and the game will be broadcast on ABC and can be streamed online used the WatchESPN App.

The Defenders and Dragons held a joint practice during and scrimmaged against each other during the XFL training camp in Houston, Texas. But not much was revealed during the scrimmage, with head coaches Pep Hamilton and Jim Zorn playing it close to the vest.

Week 1 of the 2020 XFL regular season is finally here, and below is all the Defenders vs. Dragons game information in our official preview.


Matchup: DC Defenders (0-0) vs. Seattle Dragons (0-0)
Game Location: Audi Field, SW Washington D.C.
Date & Time: Saturday, Feb. 8. at 2 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ABC
TV Broadcasters: Steve Levy (play-by-play), Greg McElroy (analyst), Tom Luginbill (field analyst), Dianna Russini (reporter)
Live Stream: WatchESPN App
Radio Station: 106.7 FM The Fan (Live Stream)
Radio Broadcasters: Grant Paulsen (play-by-play), Logan Paulsen (Analyst)

Rosters: DC Defenders | Seattle Dragons


1. Team Speed: The Defenders loaded up on speed on the outside and in the backfield. Wide receivers DeAndre ThompkinsRashad Ross and Eli Rogers are going to be threats on crossing cross and deep balls. The backfield duo of Donnel Pumphrey and Jhurell Pressley is primed to be the fastest in the league. Pumphrey is a diminutive burner who set the NCAA all-time record for rushing yards, and Pressley is a rare mix of raw power and top-end speed.

2. Jacked Up: The Defenders defense is loaded with ferocious pass-rushers, hard-hitting linebackers, and thumping safeties. Linebacker Jonathan Celestin turned heads in the Seattle scrimmage with a bone-crushing hit over the middle. Cornerback Elijah Campbell is a heat-seeking missile at all times, and defensive linemen Tracy Sprinkle and Kenny Bigelow are always going after the ball with maximum ferocity.

3. The Cardale Show: The success of any football ultimately comes down to quarterback play. For the Defenders to succeed, Cardale Jones is going to need to thrive. He’s made a career out of being a gamer, and with offensive guru Hamilton at the helm, Jones’ dynamic offensive control should be on display. Above all else, the former Ohio State star and national champion know how to make plays. 

YouTube video


  • QB: Cardale Jones, Tyree Jackson
  • RB: Jhurell Pressley, Donnel Pumphrey, Khalid Abdullah, Nick Brosette
  • WR: Malachi Dupre, Tyler Palka, Simmie Cobbs
  • WR: DeAnde Thompkins (OUT), Rashad Ross, Eli Rogers, Jalen Rowell
  • TE: Khari Lee, Derrick Haward, Donnie Ernsberger
  • LT: De’Ondre Welsey, Logan Tuley-Tillman
  • LG: Dorian Johnson
  • C: Jon Toth, James O’Hagan
  • RG: Rishard Cook, Chris Brown
  • RT: Malcolm Bunche, Cole Boozer
  • DE: Tracy Sprinkle, Tavaris Barnes, Peli Anau
  • DT: Jay Bromley, Kenny Bigelow Jr.
  • NT: Elijah Qualls, Kalani Vakameilalo
  • SLB: Antwione Williams, Jonathan Massaquoi
  • MLB: Scooby Wright (OUT), A.J. Tarpley
  • WLB: Jonathan Celestin, Jameer Thurman
  • EDGE: KeShun Freeman, Sam Montgomery
  • CB: Elijah Campbell, Doran Grant
  • CB: Desmond Lawrence, Bradley Sylve
  • S: Matt Elam, Tyree Kinnel, Rahim Moore
  • S: Carlos Merritt, Shamarko Thomas

Special Teams: Tyler Rausa (K), Hunter Niswander (P), Brian Khoury (LS)


Injured Reserve: WR Frank Brown, CB Deion Harris, WR Deion Holliman, CB Jaylen Myrick

Injury Report:  S Shamarko Thomas (questionable, thigh), WR DeAndre Thompkins (out, foot), LB Scooby Wright (out, knee)


  • QB: Brandon Silvers, B.J. Daniels
  • RB: Ja’Quan Gardner, Kenneth Farrow, Trey Williams
  • WR: Kasen Williams (OUT), Dontez Byrd, Alonzo Moore
  • WR: Austin Proehl, John Santiago
  • WR: Keenan Reynolds, Sergio Bailey
  • TE: Colin Jeter, Ben Johnson, Evan Rodriquez, Connor Hamlett, Cam Clear (OUT)
  • LT: Isaiah Battle (OUT)
  • LG: Cyril Richardson, William Campbell
  • C: Dillon Day, Kirk Barron
  • RG: Michael Dunn, Venzell Boulware
  • RT: Quinterrius Eatmon
  • LDE: Stansly Maponga, Marcel Frazier
  • DT: Will Sutton, Anthony Johnson
  • DT: Anthony Moten, Jordan Thompson, Pasoni Tasini
  • RDE: Jacquies Smith, Praise Martin-Oguike
  • OLB: Steven Johnson, Durrant Miles
  • MLB: Kyle Queiro, Nyles Morgan
  • OLB: Nick Temple
  • CB: Jeremy Clark, Steve Williams, Marko Myers
  • CB: Channing Stribling, Johnathan Alston, Mohammed Seisay
  • SS: Godwin Igwebuike, Tyson Graham (OUT)
  • FS: Jordan Martin, Santos Ramirez

Special Teams: Ernesto Lacayo (K), Brock Miller (P), Noah Borden (LS)


Injured Reserve: LB Brandon Bell, LB Paul Gionni, WR Reuben Mwehla, DT Taniela Tupou

On Weekly Injury Report: OT Isaiah Battle (out, ankle), CB Jeremy Clark (day-to-day, ankle), TE Cam Clear (out, personal), S Tyson Graham (out hand), WR Alonzo Moore (questionable, hip), CB Mohammed Seisay (day-to-day, groin), WR Kasen Williams (out, quad)

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...