Phillip “P.J.” Walker would love another shot at the NFL. The quarterback just might get that chance depending on how things go this season with the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL’s reboot season that kicks off Saturday, Feb. 8.
“I’m just excited for the opportunity, for the chance to go out on the field and play,” said Walker, who has spent the last three seasons primarily on the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad after going undrafted out of Temple in 2017. “I feel like I can play at this level and can be a hell of a quarterback, as well.”
Walker isn’t unlike many of the XFL players when WWE owner Vince McMahon’s football league returns to action for the first time since the early 2000s. Players, many of which have NFL experience, will take the field as the new, more fan-centric XFL debuts with eight teams and a 10-game regular-season schedule.
“The players have practiced extremely hard and they know that everything they do out here is their resume,” said Roughnecks coach June Jones, who is a former NFL head coach. “So when NFL teams call and they want to get to the next level at the end of April the need coaches to say good things about them, management to say good things about them and then the film is their resume.”
Walker sees the opportunity with the Roughnecks as a springboard back to the NFL, but this time on a 53-man roster with a chance to compete for an NFL job.
“I feel like I can go back up to the league and be a competitive guy in somebody’s locker room and try to win the job somewhere,” Walker said.
What to know about Roughnecks
First home game: Saturday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m. against Los Angeles Wildcats
Home game location: TDECU Stadium, UH campus
Ticket prices: Start at $23
Head coach: June Jones
Roughnecks you might know: CB Charles James, Texans; WR Sammy Coates, Texans; QB Connor Cook, Michigan State; OL Avery Gennesy, Texas A&M
No. of games: 10 regular season games, plus two weeks of postseason followed by championship game on April 26
Opponents: Dallas Renegades, D.C. Defenders, L.A.Wildcats, N.Y. Guardians, St. Louis Battlehawks, Seattle Dragons, Tampa Bay Vipers
Televised games: On Fox or ABC
Average player pay: $55,000 per season
Follow Terrance Harris on Twitter @terranceharris