Quarterback was the star of the XFL

Roughnecks fan favorite P.J. Walker to join Carolina Panthers

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The XFL season ended too soon because of the Covid-19 scare, but Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker made enough of an impression to get another shot at the NFL.

Walker, who led Houston to a 5-0 record and was the clear front-runner for MVP, will rejoin his old college coach, Matt Ruhle, with the Carolina Panthers.

Instant XFL star

Walker was the clear QB star of the XFL, throwing for 1,338 yards and 15 touchdowns with just 4 interceptions. His escapability in the pocket and ability to contribute to the running game thanks to his mobility made him a terrific fit for June Jones' offense. Walker connected with WR Cam Phillips for nine of his 15 touchdowns. He completed 64.7 percent of his passes and added in 99 rushing yards on 24 carries, second on the team.

Walker quickly became a Roughnecks fan favorite and the face of the first-year league.

With the Panthers

Walker, whose prior NFL experience was a stint on the practice squad in Indianapolis, will join a crowded quarterback room in Carolina. The Panthers added for Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater in free agency, and have yet to decide what to do with Cam Newton. Kyle Allen, who started 12 games last year, returns on a one-year deal, and Will Grier was drafted in the third round last year. UPDATE: Allen was traded to the Redskins after this was initially published.

Regardless, Walker will take his skills to the NFL.

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Justin Verlander is heading to the injured list. Composite Getty Image.

Astros ace Justin Verlander missed his start over the weekend due to neck discomfort, which had many fans concerned. The last Houston pitcher (Cristian Javier) to miss time with the same injury would end up out for the season and having to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Fortunately, it doesn't look like that will be the case for JV, and the team didn't anticipate having to put Verlander on IR. They hoped he would be able to start Thursday's game in Chicago.

But manager Joe Espada told the Astros flagship station on Tuesday that his progress “is slower than we expected.”

Fast-forward a few hours and JV is headed to the IL, with Nick Hernandez joining the club from Sugar Land.

Hopefully, this is just a short stint on the injured list for Verlander. Quite frankly, the Astros are running out of big league caliber starting pitching options.

One has to wonder, how many more injuries the team can sustain in 2024? The injury bug is biting hard, and the club is currently nine games behind Seattle in the AL West.

Up next

Framber Valdez takes the mound for Houston against the White Sox on Tuesday night.

The Athletic's Chandler Rome shares some possibilities the Astros might explore to replace Verlander in the post below.

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