San Diego Fleet Make a Flurry of Roster Moves in Response to Injuries

(Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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(Photo by Wesley Hitt/AAF/Getty Images)

Philip Nelson rolled out on a third and short halfway through the second quarter against Memphis and completed a nine-yard pass for a first down.

After the throw, Nelson was hit by a Memphis defender and driven into the turf. He came off the field and told coaches that his collarbone was popping (heard on due to his mic). After the game, Mike Martz told media that Nelson would be out at least a week. It turned out to be much longer than that.

On Monday, the San Diego Fleet announced that quarterback Philip Nelson will miss 4-6 weeks and has been placed on the injured reserve.

Philip Nelson was playing well over the last couple weeks, completing 58% of his passes and throwing for three touchdowns and two interceptions in his three starts. His one other interception was against the Commanders in week one, when he came on to play in relief of Mike Bercovici.

Many people are now wondering what the Fleet will do next at quarterback. After Nelson’s injury, Alex Ross saw extensive playing time, playing for two and a half quarters. Ross threw for 80 yards on 45% completion percentage and he had one touchdown and one interception. He had a problem hanging onto the football, fumbling the ball three times in his short time playing.

Even though Ross finished the game this past Saturday, Mike Martz announced that Mike Bercovici would start against the Salt Lake Stallions. Bercovici started the first game against the Commanders but was pulled midway through the fourth quarter after throwing for 176 yards and two interceptions on 25 attempts and 15 completions. His performance was lackluster during week one, but he has shown flashes of talent during his time in the NFL and was San Diego’s second-round pick in the Protect or Pick Quarterback draft.

Credit: SD Fleet

General Manager Dave Boller said after the game that the Fleet would be looking for a quarterback to come in and fill in while Philip Nelson is recovering, and they did just that. San Diego signed former Iron quarterback Alek Torgersen on Monday. Torgersen played college football at Penn, garnering back-to-back first-team All-Ivy League seasons and setting school records in both passing touchdowns and total offense. He was drafted by the Birmingham Iron in the fourth round of the AAF Protect or Pick quarterback draft. He didn’t play in Birmingham’s preseason game against the Hotshots and was cut after the game. He stands at 6’3 and weighs around 230 pounds, and has shown signs of athleticism, rushing for 18 touchdowns throughout his three-year career.

In other, non-quarterback related news, the Fleet have placed defensive back Jude Adjei-Barimah on injured reserve and released running back Paul James. Adjei Barimah only played in the teams first game against the Commanders before leaving with an injury and not playing for the next three games. Paul James has seen his snaps rapidly diminish as Terrell Watson and Ja’Quan Gardner have clearly become a one-two punch in San Diego’s backfield. Also, the reactivation of Bishop Sankey clearly plays a factor in the release of Paul James. Oh yeah, Bishop Sankey was reactivated from the Injured Reserve. It will be interesting to see how his activation affects Terrell Watson and Ja’Quan Gardners carries.

The Fleet also suffered an injury on the offensive line as Damien Mama went down with an injury against the Express. In response, the Fleet re-signed offensive lineman Brandon Hodges, who was released after San Diego’s game against the Commanders.

It will be interesting to see how San Diego’s starting roster looks after this past weekends injuries. Expect some changes, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

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