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Alt Football Week in Review: Heinicke Ties, Wolford Loses, and Johnson Joins 49ers

Another busy for fans of the Alternative Football as Quarterbacks dominate the headlines. This week saw two Alt League QBs take field while a third, Josh Johnson was promoted to a back-up QB position. With the 49ers seemingly losing QBs left and right it is possible that Johnson who is on the 49ers active roster to be thrust into a starting role.

As we highlight almost every week Taylor Heinicke continued to impress as starter for the Washington Commanders. Despite not leading the Commanders to victory Heinicke managed to keep Washington in the playoff race by forcing a 20-20 tie during Week 13. Heinicke threw for 275 Yards and 2 Touchdowns while adding 6 rushing yards on the ground. Heinicke is now 5-1-1 for 1444 yards and 9 touchdowns over his seven starts. The Commanders are currently the 7th seed in the NFL playoff hunt.

John Wolford the former Quarterback for the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF made his 2nd start of the 2022 NFL season. Despite an extremely efficient 1st quarter, Wolford’s performance faltered off in which the Rams lost on a Geno Smith go-ahead touchdown with 0:36 seconds left to play. Wolford was 14/26 for 178 yards and 2 Ints and now drops to 0-2 as a starter for the year.

Wolford may have some competition in his NFL audition in the next couple weeks as the Rams recently claimed Baker Mayfield to join a QB room that sports Wolford, Bryce Perkins, and Case Cookus with Matthew Stafford currently on IR. Wolford himself is dealing with multiple injuries and the Rams have not committed to a week 14 starter.

Josh Johnson returns to the Bay Area for the 4th time in his NFL career. The career journeyman was back with the 49ers after spending most of 2022 with the Broncos before being brought back-to-back up Brock Purdy. Johnson is a fan favorite of alt-league fans as he’s played in the UFL, XFL 2.0, while also being drafted by the San Diego Fleet in the AAF.

Johnson has played for 14 NFL teams, and most recently played in two games in 2021 throwing for 638 yards, 5 Touchdowns and 1 interception. Johnson threw for over 300 yards in both appearances in 2021 and brings much needed experience in a depleted QB room that has Jacob Eason, and Brocky Purdy as the other two healthy options.

More Alt News:

Nick Moore former Long Snapper of the Tampa Bay Vipers is leading the Pro-Bowl vote at his position. Moore has been with the Ravens since 2020 and took for the Long Snapper position in 2021 and can be the first alumnus of the XFL 2.0 to be elected to a Pro Bowl. Moore Four Tackles this year for the Ravens.

Newly selected Roughnecks QB Kaleb Eleby worked out for the Giants last week and the Steelers on Tuesday. Eleby has been on NFL radars yet has not signed with a team and looks to compete with Cole McDonald and Brandon Silvers for the QB1 spot in Houston.

Former Spring League star Michael Bandy continues to see consistent play with the Chargers and recorded his 10th reception for the LA Franchise. Bandy originally an afterthought out of the University of San Diego (Reid Sinnett and Josh Johnson’s Alma Mater) has been filling in for oft injured Charger receiving corps.

XFL Prospect Jarrett Guarantano signed with the Denver Broncos. Guarantano was linked to the XFL by way of Jordan Palmer’s showcases and workouts however was not selected by any XFL teams during the QB selection period in November’s draft. Guarantano has spent time with the Cardinals practice squad during parts of the 2022 NFL season.

Former Tampa Bay Vipers QB Vincent Testaverde Jr. was signed by the Albany Firebirds of the NAL. Testaverde has bounced around the IFL, CFL, XFL and NFL with the hopes of solidifying a QB position in a professional league for the first time in his career.

PJ Walker was officially named QB2 for the Panthers. The Panthers waived Baker Mayfield thus clearing the way for Walker to ascend to the QB2 role. Walker this year has started Five games, going 2-3 throwing 3 TDs for 731 yards before an injury set up Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield into the starting role.

On Tuesday the Panthers worked out Brahmas QB Reid Sinnett, in addition to XFL prospects Davis Cheek and Kurt Benkert. The Panthers elected to sign Cheek out of the three who was a part of the NFL alumni academy and Jordan Palmers workouts/showcases. This essentially closes the door on D’Eriq King joining the Panthers and hopefully joining the DC Defenders in the XFL’s 2023 Supplemental Draft.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging with his dogs in his off time.

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