The Rock has a message for AJ McCarron as he leaves XFL
When quarterback AJ McCarron joined the XFL earlier this year, actor, wrestler and XFL co-owner Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson had a message for the former Alabama All-American.
And when McCarron left the league to return to the NFL on Saturday, he had another.
“Love this,” Johnson tweeted. “Congratulations, AJ. I’ll be rooting you on this NFL Bengals season!! Thank you for being such a tremendous leader for us in the XFL. Go be great. #LeagueofOpportunity”
McCarron returned to the Cincinnati Bengals by signing with his original NFL team’s practice squad on Saturday. Cincinnati selected McCarron from the Crimson Tide in the 2014 NFL Draft.
McCarron played this season for the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks. He completed 203-of-295 passes for 2,150 yards with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions in nine games in the spring league. McCarron led the league in touchdown passes, completion percentage and passing-efficiency rating.
With the Battlehawks, McCarron got his first on-the-field action since Aug. 21, 2021, when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during an NFL preseason game with the Atlanta Falcons.
When McCarron came into the XFL, Johnson told him: “We wanted to welcome you to the XFL. AJ, you know this, but we’d be remiss without saying it, is your skill, your pedigree, your talent, your attitude, your humility, your drive, your passion, those are all the qualities that live in us, not only as passionate football fans and lovers of the game, but also as owners of the XFL, so we, as you know, expect big things from you, man.”
Cincinnati signed McCarron with Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow dealing with a calf injury. Burrow’s status for Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams is listed as questionable after he sat out practice on Thursday and was a limited participant on Friday and Saturday.
Next on Cincinnati’s QB depth chart is Jake Browning, who has played four regular-season snaps in his NFL career.
The Bengals also have quarterback Reid Sinnett on their practice squad. He rejoined the team on Friday after the New England Patriots signed quarterback Will Grier off the Cincinnati practice squad. Sinnett was with Cincinnati in training camp and the preseason before being waived on Aug. 29.
Each NFL team can elevate two players from its practice squad to active status for each game.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.