De’Mornay Pierson-El Returns To Raiders After Coronavirus-Shortened XFL Stint

De'Mornay Pierson-El of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Shaquem Griffin
Abbie Parr / Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders brought a former Nebraska Cornhusker wide receiver back into the fold on Thursday. The team, which has been adding speed during the NFL draft, added a little bit more by signing De’Mornay Pierson-El.

Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk reported the team brought back the player just a few weeks after his stint with the XFL came to an abrupt end. Pierson-El will once again be competing for a spot on the opening day roster. And he at least has a bit of familiarity in that offense and the coaching staff in his corner.

The receiver went into fall camp with the Raiders last year and appeared in all four of the team’s preseason games. An August 22nd contest against the Green Bay Packers was his best of the bunch by far. In that game, he caught six passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. He totaled nine catches and 70 yards during that preseason but never got into a game during the regular season.

This spring, Pierson-El made the jump to the fledgling XFL and was setting himself up as one of the top pass catchers in the league. Then the coronavirus swept across the country, and the season was put on pause. A few weeks after the postponement, the XFL folded and Pierson-El and the rest of his St. Louis Battlehawks teammates were free agents once again. In five games with St. Louis, the former Husker caught 23 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

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I PRAYED for times like this ‼️

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Pierson-El is much traveled over the course of his football career. In addition to playing in both the NFL and XFL, Pierson-El also played for another spring football league, Alliance of American Football League (AAF). In that league, played for the Salt Lake Stallions and had 36 receptions for 414 yards and one touchdown in eight games. Unfortunately, that league folded in the middle of its only season as well. The former Cornhusker has also spent time on the Washington Redskins’ roster, as well as a few weeks with the CFL as a member of the Montreal Alouettes. His professional football stint followed a successful career at Nebraska where he was the team’s top punt returner as well as its fastest receiver.

If Pierson-El is going to make the Raiders roster for the 2020 season, he’s going to have to overcome some stiff competition at his position. The front office selected a pair of pass-catchers in the recently completed 2020 NFL draft, including their first overall pick, Henry Ruggs III. The former Alabama Crimson Tide player was considered the fastest receiver in what was a very deep class at his position.