Birmingham Stallions ruled quarterback J’Mar Smith out for the remainder of the 2023 season with a left ring finger injury, per the Stallions’ twitter page. He was moved to the Injured Reserve List late Wednesday night.
Smith, 26, was a major piece to the Stallions championship run last year where he started seven games and helped lead the team to a 9-1 record in the regular season. He threw for 1,573 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions for a 78.7 passer rating last season.
The Louisiana Tech product earned the starting nod in Week 1 against the New Jersey Generals, completing 10-of-15 for 160 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Smith has been dealing with injuries a lot since joining the USFL, as he left the 2022 USFL Championship game in the third quarter with cramps after throwing for 131 yards and a touchdown in the win.
The hits keep coming for the reigning USFL champs
Smith becomes the second player on the Stallions roster that will miss the rest of the 2023 season with an injury, as wide receiver Marlon Williams suffered a torn achilles in the first half against the Generals, ending his season. Williams led the team in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns a year ago. He was set to be the team’s No. 1 receiver after Victor Bolden joins the XFL this offseason, but his time to shine will have to wait another year.
The Stallions are fortunate to have two capable starting quarterbacks on its roster prior to the injury. Alex McGough was the team’s original starter in 2022 but suffered an ankle injury in the season opener and was transferred to the inactive roster, leading to the emergence of Smith last season.
Still, McGough came back later in the year and proved to be a valuable piece to the Stallions offense, throwing for 460 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 135 yards and three scores.
McGough, 27, came up big in the 27-10 victory in the season opener on Saturday, throwing for 68 passing yards while scampering for 51 on the ground and combining for two touchdowns.
McGough and Jalen Morton are the only quarterbacks left on Birmingham’s roster. The team drafted Malik Cunningham in the third round of the 2023 USFL Draft, but the Louisville quarterback is likely holding out hope of joining an NFL roster. The Stallions will certainly be looking to another signal caller to the team in the coming days.
As of now, McGough will be at the helm of the offense for the foreseeable future. The Stallions face off against the Memphis Showboats on Saturday, April 22 at 7pm on Fox.