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Former USFL Player Recap: TJ Carter Makes Rams Debut, Turpin Remains Steady in Cowboys Return Game

Another comes and goes and the USFL was able to boast that someone other than KaVontae Turpin contributed to their team this week. Week 13 saw TJ Carter make his debut in addition to Micah Abernathy return to the field for the first since NFL week one. In addition to Carter and Abernathy, KaVontae Turpin continued to add to his solid season as a returner while continues to chase his first touchdown of his NFL career.

TJ Carter was originally cut by the Saints during the 2nd wave of cuts during, only to be picked up by the Rams a day later. After getting released during final cuts, Carter was picked up by the Rams practice squad where he spent 12 weeks before getting elevated for week 13.

Carter would appear in six snaps for the Rams (five special teams, one on defense), in the Rams 27-23 loss against the Seahawks. Carter became the 10th USFL player to appear in an NFL game this year.

Former Gamblers Safety Micah Abernathy returned to the NFL for the Packers in week 13. Abernathy originally made the Packers 53-Man roster only to be released and signed on the practice squad in the pre-week one roster shuffle of the NFL. Abernathy appeared in eight snaps (seven on special teams, one on defense), and recorded his first NFL tackle.

Abernathy who seemed to have lost the reserve safety/special teams’ position to Dallin Leavitt managed to appear his second career NFL game (both this season) after leaving the Gamblers star studded defense recording 71 tackles and two interceptions in the USFL. Abernathy is also a veteran of the XFL 2.0’s Dallas Renegades.

Green Bay Packers safety Micah Abernathy (46) celebrates his second quarter interception against the New Orleans Saints during their football game Friday, August 19, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Apc Packvssaints 0819221160djp

As we do almost every week KaVontae Turpin continued to seek his first NFL touchdown. The former General returned three kickoffs for 64 yards. Turpin continues to be on the cusp of breaking a dynamic return however has not managed to break free and hit Pay-Dirt.

Turpin this year has 329 Kick Return Yards, 236 Punt Return yards for a total of 591 All-Purpose Yards (9 receiving, 17 rushing) with five games left Turpin still has a shot of breaking over 1,000 All-Purpose yards in his rookie season. Regardless of if he scores or passes 1k, Turpin’s addition in the Cowboys special teams has definitely improved the overlooked facet of the game putting them in the Top-5

As we do every week here at USFL News Hub we will continue to track all the USFL to NFL movements and player accolades. Currently there are 21 USFL alumni on NFL pay rolls, with five weeks left in the season. As more players continue to be placed on IR, look for more USFL players to make their NFL debuts in addition to being late season additions to their rosters. As of right now 56 former players had signed NFL contracts throughout the 2022 NFL season with KaVontae Turpin leading the way for the rebooted league.

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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 out with his dogs in his off time.



  1. Ken Granito

    December 8, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    I have not seen Case Cookus prqctice this week, but I likely watch him 6 times this past USFL season. Out of all the QBs I saw in the USFL he was the one I saw as being the most NFL ready. I saw Bryce Perkins play against the Chiefs and he definitely looked like a baby deer working in his new legs. He has guts and ability, hut he is not ready to quickly read defenses. If John Wohlford cannot play I would prefer to see what Case Cookus can do with a couple weeks of practice as opposed to Baker Mayfield with a couple of days. The Rams will find out what Baker Mayfield can do. I feel that what they cannot do is to release Case Cookus without seeing him play. To me, that would be the worse course of action.

    • Patrick Rifino

      December 9, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      With Mayfield most likely QB1 and Wolford nursing an injury it appears that Cookus is here to stay for the time being.

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