The (1-1) New Jersey Generals are coming off their first win of the season last Friday, and as a result, they have two extra days to get ready for Sunday’s first-place North division showdown with the (1-1) Philadelphia Stars.
And by the look of things, based on the team’s practice reports. The Generals and Stars will need all the extra time they can get to be ready for Sunday.
New Jersey Generals Week 3 Practice Report
New Jersey’s practice and injury report isn’t as extensive as some of the other teams in the USFL, like Philadelphia. (more on that momentarily) But some key Generals’ are sitting out practice to start the week.
Safety Shalom Luani, who has been one of the team’s best playmakers, missed practice, nursing a leg injury. Fellow safety Mike Bell (Chest) also didn’t practice. If both players were to miss Sunday’s game, New Jersey would be dangerously thin at the position. FS Dravon Askew-Henry quietly had one of the best games of any defensive player in the USFL last week. But if Luani and Bell are out, Paris Ford would be the only other safety on the roster.
This week, the Generals might have to lean on one of their cornerbacks to slide over to safety, and versatile DB Trae Elston may be called upon to fill that role. Cornerbacks Christian Tutt (ankle/limited) and David Rivers (Hamstring/full) both showed up on the injury report. But they seem to be on track to play this Sunday, barring any setbacks.
DT Destiny Vaeao has been battling a thigh injury all season long. He did not participate in practice on Wednesday. DL Deyon Sizer (chest/limited) also joined Vaeao on the Generals’ infirmary list.
Offensively, the team’s leading receiver Randy Satterfield started the week limited with a hamstring injury, and J’Mon Moore was a DNP because of his own hamstring issue.
TE Braedon Bowman has been banged up since the opening game, and he’s been limited in practice with an ankle injury. The injuries at tight end have forced New Jersey to reshuffle their roster on offense. A week ago, RB Mike Weber was released to make room for TE Wes Saxton. This week, the Generals let go of another one of their top draft selections to bring in a new running back.
New Jersey Generals Roster Update
As reported here at USFLNewshub, the New Jersey Generals have added Monmouth and former NFL RB Pete Guerriero. To make room for him on the roster, the team released TE Nick Truesdell.
The speedy Guerriero could help bring New Jersey’s offense and special teams a big-play dimension. Truesdell, who was a star in the AAF and XFL, struggled to shake the injury bug. And as a result, he lost his spot on the depth chart to fellow tight ends Woody Brandom and Wes Saxton.
Philadelphia Seeing Stars
No team in the USFL is facing the injury issues that the Philadelphia Stars are heading into Week 3. Philly has 22 players on their injured list. Most notably, both of the team’s quarterbacks. The league’s leading passer Bryan Scott and backup Case Cookus.
Although most of the names on the Stars list were listed as limited or full participants on their practice report. 22 is still a significant number in a league where teams have only 35 active players.
Bryan Scott, who has been sacked ten times in Philadelphia’s first two games, was lucky to finish last Saturday’s game against the Maulers after taking several big hits in the pocket. So it’s not surprising to see Scott on the practice report with a knee injury. However, the bad news is that Scott could not practice on Wednesday, and an Achilles injury limited his backup, Case Cookus.
There’s still time till Sunday’s crucial divisional clash with New Jersey. But with only two quarterbacks on the roster, Philadelphia might have to sign an extra signal-caller for insurance. Stars HC Bart Andrus might have to reach for his trusty old Rolodex to recruit one of his former quarterbacks to the USFL.
Andrus might not have to go too far into his past. He coached in TSL last Spring with the Generals. His two quarterbacks were Ryan Mallett and DeAndre Francois, and the latter is currently playing in the Fan Controlled Football League. Mallett, the former NFL quarterback, played well for Andrus in TSL. But he has since retired and is currently the head football coach at White Hall High School in White Hall, Arkansas.
If he were healthy enough, an intriguing pickup for the Stars, based on their matchup with the Generals, would’ve been Ben Holmes. The quarterback New Jersey drafted, fourth overall in the USFL draft.
No matter what Philly decides to do at quarterback. The New Jersey Generals would love to avoid facing the red hot Bryan Scott when Sunday rolls along.