DC Defenders Make Flurry Of Moves Ahead Of Week 8 | Deondre Francois

DC Defenders Make Flurry Of Moves Ahead Of Week 8

With virtually a must-win matchup on the docket this week for DC vs. St. Louis, the Defenders have made plenty of important roster changes ahead of their XFL conference clash.

Following last week’s game against Michigan, the Defenders had plenty of injury questions, mainly concerning Jordan Ta’amu (concussion) and Kelvin Harmon (hamstring). Harmon announced via social media on Wednesday that he would miss the remainder of the UFL season. A significant blow to DC’s potential playoff chances.

Harmon was later placed on the injured reserve list, along with QB Deondre Francois (left ankle) and OT Tommy Champion. Francois replaced Ta’amu this past Sunday, but quickly exited due to an ankle injury suffered in the third quarter.

Harmon’s injury severely impacts the Defenders offense, as he is responsible for 45% of all receptions for DC this year. With just three games remaining, the Defenders will most likely slide Brandon Smith back to starting outside wide receiver opposite of Ty Scott.

On Wednesday, the league also announced DC claimed OT John Yarbrough off waivers and re-signed OT Greg Long. Yarbrough was released by San Antonio earlier this week, just after being placed back on the active roster from IR. Long was with DC in training camp and rejoins the team, as uncertainty still surrounds both tackle positions for DC.

The Defenders also released RB ZaQuandre White this week as a part of the wave of UFL transactions made.The running backs by committee strategy from offensive coordinator Fred Kaiss and the Defenders offense has fallen completely flat through seven weeks of regular season action. There can be no plausible doubt in anyone’s mind that Defenders RB Abram Smith’s injury in training camp was the biggest turning point of the entire offseason for DC.

The Defenders also signed WR Monroe Young (California) and QB Mike DiLiello (Austin Peay) this week. Both were 2024 NFL Draft prospects this offseason, and will enter the UFL as true rookies with DC. To read more about Young and DiLiello, click here.

Final Thoughts

As if the devastating loss to Michigan this past week wasn’t enough, the Defenders are now without their top receiving option heading into a must-win stretch of games. Luckily, it appears Ta’amu is good to go this week following Barlow’s postgame press conference comments, when he mentioned Ta’amu could have re-entered the game if not for the league’s third quarterback rule.

What are your thoughts on Kelvin Harmon out for the year? Should they have kept ZaQuandre White? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!