With the USFL season two weeks away from starting, the New Jersey Generals have announced that they have released their first-round pick and presumed starting quarterback Ben Holmes due to injury.
New Jersey Generals Lose Starting QB Ben Holmes, Add Luis Perez
Sources close to the situation this morning have revealed that the Orchard Park native and Tarleton State standout Ben Holmes injured his foot in practice.
Holmes broke the outside part of his right foot and pinky. He will be on the shelf for 5-6 weeks. The injury forced the Generals’ hand because DeAndre Johnson was the only other quarterback on New Jersey’s roster.
Ben Holmes confirmed the injury on social media today.
As a result, the New Jersey Generals have signed veteran quarterback Luis Perez to replace Ben Holmes on their active roster.
Perez is a well-traveled signal-caller who has a ton of experience in spring pro football, having played in the AAF with the Birmingham Iron and the New York Guardians in the XFL. Perez also played in the Spring League in 2021.
Perez could be in line to start the opener against the Stallions. But he will need to do a crash course on Mike Riley and offensive coordinator Steve Smith’s offense.
The timing of this news, on April Fools Day and right before the season starts, are both less than ideal. Specifically for the New Jersey Generals, who are preparing to face the Birmingham Stallions in the USFL’s opening game at Protective Stadium on Saturday, April 16th.
Luis Perez is a gamer and played really well with the NY Guardians after being traded by the LA Wildcats to make room for Josh Johnson right before the start of the 2020 XFL season. Perez came on in relief of Matt McGloin and helped lead New York into playoff contention.
Perez also helped lead the Jousters to a championship game in TSL last Spring. As a result, he has the experience of operating on short notice in less than ideal circumstances. So if Mike Riley decides to turn the offense over to Perez, he has someone who can function well in that setting.
As for Ben Holmes, this is a crushing blow for the 27-year old signal-caller. Holmes was New Jersey’s handpicked choice to lead their offense, and it would have been his first crack at being the unquestioned starter of a pro football team. The opportunity to showcase his skills before a national TV audience on FOX and NBC has been taken away.
At this point, it doesn’t appear that Holmes’s injury will require surgery. But the timeframe of four weeks minimum could leave Holmes on the outside looking in. However, since the USFL season runs till July. And because injuries are inevitable. The door is open for a potential return to the league; with all USFL teams rostering only two QBs, there’s a chance that Holmes could be back in the league if he can recover before the season ends.
New Jersey Generals Roster Moves
The QB news grabs all the headlines, and rightfully so. But the New Jersey Generals made a few other moves on April 1st. To go along with the Holmes release and Perez signing. The team announced the signing of DE Deyon Sizer and TE Woody Brandom. To make room for them on the roster, the Generals’ released DE Malik Hamner, TE Carson Williams, and WR Christopher Platt Jr.
Deyon Sizer replaces Malik Hamner in the Generals defensive line rotation. Hamner, the former All-SWAC edge rusher, was New Jersey’s fourth-round draft pick.
Sizer, the CSU Pueblo standout, has spent the last three years in the NFL with Denver as an undrafted free agent. Over his college career, Sizer, an All-RMAC First Team player, played 41 games and made 138 tackles, a fumble recovery, and ten sacks. The 6’4 280lb defensive end has been on and off the Broncos practice squad and active roster since 2019. He was most recently released in January.
Sizer has experience playing in an odd front and at defensive tackle, and the versatility should help him and the Generals in the USFL.
TE Woody Brandom, the former FCS standout out from Sam Houston State, replaces TE Carson Williams on the Generals’ roster. At SHS, Brandom was an All-SLC first-team tight end.
Brandom, 6’4 250, went undrafted coming out of school and played in the Spring League with the Aviators. The California native Brandom is an intriguing talent who has worked out for NFL teams but hasn’t been able to latch onto a roster.
The release of former Baylor track star and wide receiver Christopher Platt Jr leaves a potential opening on the Generals’ roster. The team has also recently added WR Cam Echols-Luper.
The receivers for New Jersey are currently Alonzo Moore, Darrius Shepherd, KaVontae Turpin, J’Mon Moore, Cam Echols-Luper and Randy Satterfield. The Generals have several candidates at WR who can return kicks, an area that Platt figured to contribute. But New Jersey could stand to add a veteran pass-catcher before the season starts. The Generals’ are rolling with mostly an inexperienced group.
The regular season is rapidly approaching. So Mike Riley and his troops have their work cut out to get their team ready. Losing their starting quarterback at this late stage won’t help matters.