Week 15 was a quiet one for USFL alumni as KaVontae Turpin and Rams Defensive Lineman TJ Carter were the only players active for NFL teams. While many speculated that Long Snapper Tucker Addington would make his debut for the Patriots this week, however Joe Cardona was active, and Addington remained on the Practice Squad.
Turpin put together another decent performance for the Cowboys kick return unit. The TCU alum totaled 86 yards on 4 touches with 70 coming from Kick Returns and 16 on Punt Returns. Turpin now has 713 All-Purpose Yards on the season and has an outside chance of surpassing the 1000 Yard threshold. Turpin also has a chance of being named to a Pro Bowl and would join Matt Overton (UFL), Graham Gano (UFL), and Younghoe Koo (AAF), as Alt-Leaguers who have been selected to the NFL’s All-Star game.
Despite the efforts of Turpin, the Cowboys did lose to the red-hot Jaguars in overtime 40-34. Currently the Cowboys remain in the NFC’s 5th with their 10-4 record. For Turpin one might imagine that since 2021 he might be feeling some fatigue. As many know starting with the FCF in the spring of 2021, Turpin spent the summer in The Spring League, the Fall/Winter in Poland during the ELF and then the spring of 2022 with the Generals. With the Cowboys looking like a lock for the playoffs Turpin will have had an estimated five months of “off time” since leaving the Frisco Fighters in 2020. One might question if the last two seasons might be catching up to him, especially with the playoffs coming up for Turpin and the Cowboys.
For TJ Carter he had a bit of quiet week. The former Michigan Panther standout took part in four snaps total all on the defensive side of the ball and did not record any stats for the Rams in their Monday Night Football loss to the Packers. Carter remains on the practice squad and could be an elevation depending on the health of 9x Pro Bowler Aaron Donald.
Though not the most active week for former USFL players the consistent play of Turpin has remained a bright spot for fans of the rebooted league. While Tucker Addington is seemingly the “next man up” for a USFL player to make their NFL debut in 2022 the league still has seen 10 players contribute for NFL teams this year.
The league currently has 21 players on NFL payrolls and has had a total of 4 other players (Darrius Shepherd, Bailey Gaither, Tegray Scales, and Hunter Thedford) have in-season stints with NFL teams. For a league looking to attract talent the league has done a good job of giving opportunities to NFL caliber players.
December 21, 2022 at 10:21 am
I know you mentioned the 21 USFL players on NFL payrolls is a good number and it is when you remember there are only 8 USFL teams. I am hopeful some will become consistent performers over time. I fully feel Case Cookus deserves an opportunity to show his wares. i also felt that when I was watching Isaiah Zuber play in the USFL, that I was watching an NFL player. With all the injuries had at wideout this year, I was surprised he was not elevated off the practice squad. I hope Mitch Fraboni is able to get his job back next year. He was certainly active for the Broncos on the punt return defense after the punt. Hoping we see a couple more USFL actives before the NFL season ends.