For any alt. league fans, this week of NFL football brought both excitement and pride. On Sunday, three former XFL quarterbacks took the field for their respective teams: Taylor Heinicke (Washington), PJ Walker (Panthers), and Josh Johnson (Jets). Additionally, former AAF quarterback John Wolford made an appearance for the Rams.
Taylor Heinicke has been the Washington Football Team’s starter since week 2 of this season, following a hip injury to veteran signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick. In a 17-10 loss to the Denver Broncos, he completed 24 of 39 passes for 270 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. It was a rough outing for Heinicke, who has been up-and-down all year. Washington currently has a 2-6 record going into their week 9 bye, and Fitzpatrick is still a few games away from returning. Hopefully, Heinicke will be able to perform better as time goes on.
PJ Walker has been the Carolina Panthers’ backup since last season, and many were pushing for him to start in wake of Sam Darnold’s recent struggles. Walker got playing time for the second week in a row, as Darnold suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter. However, since there wasn’t much time left in the game, he only recorded a single pass attempt. The Panthers beat the Atlanta Falcons 19-13, snapping a four-game losing streak. If Darnold remains in concussion protocol, Walker could be QB1 against the New England Patriots in week 9.
Josh Johnson was recently activated off the Jets’ practice squad following an injury to Zach Wilson. Mike White was the starter against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, with Johnson serving as the backup. White had a game to remember, breaking multiple records while leading his team to a 34-31 upset win. However, he did take a big hit in the third quarter that required him to leave the field. Although White’s absence only lasted for a few minutes, Johnson stepped in and put together a decent drive. He completed 2 of 4 passes for 17 yards, and nearly threw a touchdown to wide receiver Denzel Mims.
John Wolford played the entire fourth quarter of the Rams’ 38-22 win over the Houston Texans, completing 1 of 2 passes for 5 yards. Wolford was filling in for Matthew Stafford, who had been benched in order to rest (the game was already a blowout by that point). He also saw action in week 6 under the same circumstances.
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