Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Vipers

Former Gator Antonio Callaway’s Vipers season ends before it starts

The former University of Florida wide receiver’s season ends after suffering leg injury in practice Wednesday.
Former Florida Gator Antonio Callaway is looking for a fresh start in the XFL with the Tampa Bay Vipers. (Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Vipers) [Tampa Bay Vipers]
Former Florida Gator Antonio Callaway is looking for a fresh start in the XFL with the Tampa Bay Vipers. (Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Vipers) [Tampa Bay Vipers]
Published Jan. 31
Updated Feb. 4

TAMPA — Antonio Callaway’s attempt to revive his football career this year in the new XFL ended before it really began as the former Gators wide receiver was placed on injured reserve by the Vipers on Thursday evening.

Callaway, who was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay two weeks ago, was carted off the field during Wednesday's practice at Plant City Stadium with a lower leg injury. Further specifics of the injury itself are unknown.

“Antonio came here focused, working hard to make the team," Vipers coach Marc Trestman said in a statement released by the team. "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."

Related: As his XFL debut nears, Quinton Flowers yearns to give USF fans an encore performance

Callaway, whose college career at Florida began with promise but ended with multiple suspensions following marijuana possession, a sexual assault accusation (which he was later cleared of) and involvement in the a credit card scandal, also had a short NFL career, lasting less than two seasons with the Browns after Cleveland cut ties in November after Callaway was late for meetings and practices.

Because he was a late addition to the Vipers roster, Trestman said Callaway still had some adjusting to do, but the team saw him as a potential impact player as a receiver and return man.

The Vipers open their season on Feb. 9 on the road against the New York Guardians. Their home opener will be Feb. 22 against the Houston Roughnecks at Raymond James Stadium.

Related: Will this time be different for Antonio Callaway?

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. A determination to play the position he loves has Tampa Bay Vipers defensive tackle Nikita Whitlock (49) still pushing at age 28. The Vipers play their home opener at 2 p.m. Saturday against Houston at Raymond James Stadium.
  2. The XFL begins its 10-week regular season Feb. 8, one week after the NFL's Super Bowl.
  3. Vipers' Quinton Flowers (9) said it's been difficult to get into a rhythm with quarterbacks moving in and out. Is that why the Vipers have struggled in the red zone so much?
  4. Tampa Bay Vipers defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville drove race cars in between football stints over the years.
  5. Tim Tebow, who is in spring training with the Mets, says he wants to be "all in" on baseball.
  6. A closeup detail view of the XFL ball. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
  7. Tampa Bay Vipers quarterback Taylor Cornelius warms up before last week's XFL opener at the New York Guardians.
  8. Tampa Bay Vipers wide receiver Daniel Williams (81) runs off the line during an XFL football game against the New York Guardians, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. The New York Guardians won 23-3.
  9. Former USF quarterbacks B.J. Daniels, left, and Quinton Flowers, right, could square off when Seattle plays host to Tampa Bay in an XFL game Saturday.
  10. Tampa Bay Vipers defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville would prefer to use just one headset to relay plays, but in Sunday's opener he had to use two.
  11. Tampa Bay Vipers quarterback Aaron Murray calls out a play before the ball is snapped during Sunday's season opener against the New York Guardians in East Rutherford, N.J.
  12. XFL television ratings are strong through the opening weekend, with the Vipers' first game doing best nationally.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement