On Tuesday night Philadelphia Stars quarterback Bryan Scott announced on Twitter that he was 100% recovered from his season ending injury. Scott started the 2022 season as the Stars’ starting quarterback and even helped head coach Bart Andrus select players during the USFL’s inaugural draft.
Grateful to be recovered and 100 percent after my injury sustained this season… Thankful for all the love and support from everyone. Can’t wait to have the ball back in my hands.
Scott led the Stars to a 1-2 record before falling to injury in Philly’s third match against the New Jersey Generals. Scott completed 70.6 percent of his passes and averaged 6.6 yards per pass while throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions.
Complicating a potential return to Philadelphia in 2023 was the emergence of backup Case Cookus, who led the Stars to the USFL Championship game in Scott’s absence. Andrus is clearly high on both quarterbacks and believes that they both are NFL talents.
Cookus averaged slightly less per pass than Scott and completed a slightly lower percentage of passes, but he added a lot as a rusher on the ground. Despite starting over twice as many games as Scott, Cookus and Scott both were sacked 11 times. Cookus led the Stars into the Championship game after leading the team to victory in six of seven matchups.
The USFL did not have any player trades in the 2022 season, which would be in the cards with two starting caliber quarterbacks potentially on Philadelphia’s roster in 2023. Were both players to return, you’d expect Coach Andrus to try to convince Daryl Johnston and company to allow player trades in order to maximize Philadelphia’s resources.
Stars Player Signings Coming Soon
On Monday, the Generals, Gamblers, Stallions, and Panthers announced player signings. Philadelphia has not yet announced any player signings, but Stars tight end Pro Wells revealed to me on Twitter that he will return to Philadelphia.
Wells served as a backup tight end to Bug Howard in 2022, catching three passes including a 51-yard touchdown pass from Case Cookus late in the season. The Stars will seemingly hope to bring back most of their players from the 2022 season.
According to SWX Montana, via our very own James Larsen, Stars head coach Bart Andrus is getting together with his coaching staff at the end of August to find “the next group of players”. Larsen expects Philadelphia to announce some player signings in the next several weeks.
“We retain the rights to all the guys that are on our roster,” Andrus told SWX in July, seemingly suggesting that he’d like to bring back a lot of the 2022 Stars.
Four former Stars players survived the cutdown to 80 man rosters this week in Commanders CB Channing Stribling, Commanders OT Alex Akingbulu, Lions WR Maurice Alexander, and Packers RB Dexter Williams.
Chiefs WR Devin Gray and Jaguars RB Matt Colburn were previously released in the cut to 85 players while Saints QB K.J. Costello and Buccaneers TE Bug Howard were cut this week as their teams reached 80 men in numbers.
Akingbulu’s survival appeared to be the biggest surprise, but the offensive tackle benefitted from Commanders veteran swing tackle Rashod Hill missing the second preseason game with injury and the Commanders opted to move on from Hill.
Stribling and Alexander have been given decent play time in the preseason while Dexter Williams appears to be a longshot to stick around despite some nice play in preseason.
Alexander meanwhile might be playing himself into a full-time job after a solid showing this preseason. In an interview with local reporters, Alexander credited Stars assistant coach Martin Bayless for his growth. Lions head coach Dan Campbell told reporters that Alexander was “hard to ignore” and that Campbell and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp are intrigued by the ex-Star.
Colts Work Out Two Former Stars
Per the NFL’s daily transaction report, the Indianapolis Colts worked out Stars WR Chris Rowland. This is Rowland’s first NFL workout and the Colts are one of the four NFL teams that did not sign a USFL player. Rowland was more involved offensively with the Stars towards the end of the season and played well in the USFL Championship game.
Indianapolis also worked out punter Matt Mengal along with a host of other punters on Wednesday with the Colts scrambling to replace injured punter Rigoberto Sanchez. Mengal was cut by the Stars mid-season and spent part of the spring in the Canadian Football League. Recently Mengel worked out with the Miami Dolphins.
Which players would youl like to see return to the Philadelphia Stars in 2023? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.