Antonio Callaway placed on IR before start of XFL season
Antonio Callaway’s professional football career is once again clouded by uncertainty.
On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Vipers announced that Callaway has been placed on injured reserve. Callaway sustained a lower-leg injury during practice on Wednesday and had to be carted off the field.
“Antonio came here focused, working hard to make the team,” Vipers head coach Marc Trestman said via the team website. “He did everything that we asked him to. He was engaging with the players and came here to work and get himself ready to play. We were excited to have him with us.”
Details of Callaway’s injury have not been publicly shared, but the IR designation is being reported as meaning the former Florida standout’s season is over. Callaway was hoping to use the XFL as a way to boost his appeal to NFL teams for the 2020 season. Now it appears Callaway will enter the upcoming NFL offseason with no XFL resume and a suspension still hanging over him. Back in November, Callaway was suspended by the NFL for 10 games for violating the league’s substance policy. He appealed the suspension and lost.
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Callaway, who dealt with multiple off-the-field issues at Florida, was a fourth-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2018. Over the 2018 and ’19 seasons, Callaway played in 20 games, including 13 starts, recording 51 catches for 675 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Browns waived Callaway on Nov. 14.