United Football League
UFL 2024: Five things to watch for in Week 4
United Football League

UFL 2024: Five things to watch for in Week 4

Published Apr. 19, 2024 5:09 p.m. ET

One of the frontrunners for the UFL’s MVP race will be out for an extended period. 

The San Antonio Brahmas announced this week that breakout quarterback Chase Garbers is headed to IR with a wrist injury. Garber will miss at least the next five weeks but could return by season’s end if his injury heals.

Through three games, Garbers completed 70.8% of his passes for 586 yards and a league-leading six touchdown passes and just one interception, leading the Brahmas to a 2-1 record to start the season.

With Garbers out, Quinten Dormady is slated to get his first start of the season.  "He [has] played with the first team throughout training camp, so we feel good about him going in," head coach Wade Phillips said about Dormady. "He’s got a big arm. He’s got the capability of throwing the deep ball for touchdowns, and we’re going to see that this week."


The Brahmas also signed Kevin Hogan to add depth to the quarterback room.

San Antonio hosts the Michigan Panthers (2-1) as part of a three-game slate Saturday (7 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app). The DC Defenders (2-1) face the undefeated Birmingham Stallions in the other game on FOX (7 p.m. ET).

Kicking things off Saturday, the St. Louis Battlehawks (2-1) host the Memphis Showboats (1-2) at 12:30 p.m. ET, and the Arlington Renegades (0-3) take on the Houston Roughnecks (0-3) in the lone game Sunday (2 p.m. ET on FS1).

Here are five things to watch for in Week 4's slate of games: 

1. A return for Roughnecks RB Mark Thompson?

Houston head coach Curtis Johnson hopes to get a big boost on offense with the potential return of his star running back.

The reigning USFL Offensive Player of the Year, Thompson finished with 653 rushing yards and a league-best 14 touchdowns in 2023. However, Thompson missed the first three games of this season with a knee issue. 

Through Week 3, Houston has totaled a league-low 145 rushing yards in Thompson’s absence. He participated in practice drills this week, and Johnson told reporters he’s hopeful that Thompson will play Sunday.

2. Stallions still committed to a two-QB approach?

Adrian Martinez threw for a league-high 334 passing yards and two touchdowns in his first start for Birmingham — a runaway win over Memphis last week. That’s good enough to keep the starting job for another week, right?

Maybe not. Matt Corral is listed as the starter heading into this weekend’s home contest against the Defenders, according to Birmingham’s current depth chart. Corral started the first two games for Birmingham, both of which were wins, throwing for 254 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Head coach Skip Holtz has maintained that both quarterbacks will continue to get reps during the season, so it looks like it's Corral’s turn to get another start.

Also, Birmingham kicker Chris Blewitt is inactive with a quad issue, so the Stallions signed Ramiz Ahmed to take his place. 

3. Battle of winless teams: Renegades vs. Roughnecks 

Head coach CJ Johnson and the Roughnecks will be aiming to earn their first victory against another team looking for a ‘W’ in Arlington.

Houston has struggled to score points, averaging a league-low 16.7 points a contest, while the Renegades are struggling to stop teams defensively, allowing a league-high 27.7 points per game. 

Last year’s XFL champion, Arlington, does have the UFL's passing leader in QB Luis Perez, who has thrown for 737 passing yards and four touchdowns, with just one interception.

Receiver Tyler Vaughns has emerged as the go-to receiver for Perez. He finished with nine catches for 109 yards and a score in last week’s loss to the Defenders. Vaughns has 17 catches for 182 yards on 27 targets headed into Week 4.

4. Carlos Davis stakes early claim to UFL Defensive Player of the Year

Birmingham’s defense has been the best in the UFL so far this season, holding opponents to 13.7 points a game and totaling a league-high 17 sacks. 

Specifically, defensive tackle Davis has been the leader on that side of the ball, with a UFL-high 6.5 sacks and 15 combined tackles, including four tackles for loss. At 6-foot-2 and 312 pounds, the 27-year-old was a seventh-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Nebraska in 2020 and spent time on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad last season.

Davis, with an ability to rush from inside and outside along the defensive line, provides some scheme versatility for Holtz, who also credited the addition of longtime NFL defensive line coach Bill Johnson for the uptick in production for his defense, which totaled 19.0 sacks all season in 2023.

5. A homecoming for Defenders head coach Reggie Barlow 

When the Defenders face the Stallions in Birmingham, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Barlow. He's from nearby Montgomery, Ala., about 90 miles south of Birmingham. Barlow attended Alabama State, where he finished with 1,267 receiving yards his senior season and was a fourth-round selection by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 1996 NFL Draft. 

After his playing career finished, Barlow spent seven seasons as the head coach of his alma mater from 2007 to 2014, compiling a 49-42 overall record.

Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him at @eric_d_williams.

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