After suffering their first defeat of the season to the New Jersey Generals, the Michigan Panthers went back to the drawing board. After suffering some injuries on the Offensive Side of the ball, the Panthers placed 2nd-year player Devin Ross and USFL newcomer Denzel Okafor were both placed on the team’s Injured Reserve List. In a corresponding move the Panthers signed James Walker out of SE Oklahoma State to add some much-needed insurance on the Offensive Line.
Ross returned to the Panthers after getting released from the San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL. While Ross was the Panthers 2nd leading receiver in 2022, in 2023 he was regulated to a reserve role playing mostly on Special Teams. Okafor was a 2022-23 offseason signing for Michigan in an attempt to bolster the Offensive Line, he played in two games for the Panthers before being placed on the inactive roster in week 3 with a Right Knee injury. Michigan elevated Ryan Nelson last week, and could elevate Corey Hoelck to fill Okafor’s roster spot.
Joining the Panthers is James Walker from SE Oklahoma State. Per @USFLShadow, Walker was eligible for the NFL and USFL draft in 2023, however was not selected in either league, possibly making him the first UDFA Rookie in the USFL this season. Walker was selected to the 2nd Team All-GAC in 2022 prior to beginning his professional career.
As custom with any football league injuries are a natural occurrence during the season. With Michigan being able to “retool” and stay relatively healthy outside of two reserve players getting hurt, the Panthers are in good shape to rebound in week 4 coming off their loss to the Generals. The Panthers are set to take on the Showboats in Week 4 this Saturday at 7:30 on NBC at Ford Field.