The best time to add more football, in theory, is when there is no football. That is the hypothesis under which the Alliance of American Football is operating, as the upstart league has elected to hold their season immediately following the Super Bowl in the NFL.
The league is now in the second week of its inaugural season, with two games having been played yesterday, both the Arizona Hotshots and the Birmingham Iron winning for the second straight week. As you should recall, the Iron is the team to which the Pittsburgh Steelers are an affiliate for talent allocation.
To briefly summarize what that means, the league’s eight teams, all of which are owned by the AAF itself, is assigned the rights to NFL and CFL talent based on the team that they last played for in either of those leagues. Every AAF team is assigned affiliate teams from those leagues from which they are given the rights to their former players, the Steelers being among those for the Iron, which is why there are so many former Pittsburgh players there.
One of the early bright spots in all of the AAF has been 2018 undrafted free agent cornerback Jamar Summers. While he didn’t get an opportunity to do much in the NFL—he didn’t even make the Steelers’ practice squad—he has put together two good weeks in the new league. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed just one reception on five targets yesterday.
Unfortunately, there was also some bad news for another former Steeler, safety Jacob Hagen. Hagen, originally an undrafted free agent signing by the Rams in 2015, spent parts of the 2016 and 2017 offseasons in Pittsburgh, though he actually last played with the Cleveland Browns, and the Browns also happen to be an affiliate team of the Iron.
Hagen was injured during yesterday’s game on a fake punt. He was carted off the field after an air cast was placed on his leg, so there is a fair likelihood that the injury will prove to be significant. It was reported as potentially a season-ending ankle injury. That is crushing, given that he is looking for another chance to play in the NFL. He was not on a team at any point in 2018.
— Joseph AAF🏈 (@Doilyyy) February 16, 2019
In other division-related news, former Browns first-round bust Trent Richardson is emerging as one of the early ‘stars’ of the young league. He rushed for 41 yards on 19 carries in yesterday’s game and also scored the game-winning touchdown. He already has three rushing touchdowns on the season for Birmingham, does the Alabama product.