The Alliance of American Football wrapped up another week of their inaugural season on Sunday. Several former San Francisco 49ers players and coaches stood out in Week 3, as well as other players whose performances could put them on the radar of NFL teams. We’ll be dropping in on the AAF on a weekly basis to see who’s making an impact in the new league.
Ja’Quan Gardner, RB, San Diego Fleet
Gardner lands on this list for the second week in a row. The 5-foot-7, 205-pound running back racked up 121 yards rushing and a touchdown on 12 carries in the Fleet’s 31-11 win over the San Antonio Commanders. Gardner’s 83-yard touchdown run was the longest play in the AAF so far this season. He’s now leading all running backs with 281 yards through Week 3. He suited up for the 49ers’ final preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers but didn’t receive any snaps and was released two days later. It seems likely Gardner will attend another NFL training camp in 2019.
Rashad Ross, WR, Arizona Hotshots
As was the case with most of his destinations in the NFL, Ross’ time with the 49ers was over before it could begin. He signed a reserve/futures contract in January of 2017 was released in June, before the bulk of the offseason began. Ross (6-0, 180) is taking full advantage of his stint in the AAF though, leading the league with four touchdowns receptions. He’s also second in yards receiving with 221 through three games. Ross caught six passes on eight targets on Saturday for 51 yards and one touchdown in the Hotshots’ 23-15 loss to the Salt Lake Stallions.
Quinton Patton, Birmingham Iron
The former 49ers wide receiver is putting up solid numbers through three weeks. He had four receptions for 58 yards in the Iron’s 28-12 win over the Legends. Patton is currently third in the league with 209 receiving yards, behind Ross and Charles Johnson.
Mike Singletary, Memphis Express
Singletary continues to struggle leading the Express. After being shut out in his debut, the former 49ers head coach has lost the last two games by a combined six points. Singletary’s Express trailed the Orlando Apollos all four quarters Sunday, falling 21-17 despite a late score and two-point conversion. Memphis, along with the Atlanta Legends, are the only two teams in the AAF that have yet to win their first game.
Tim Lewis, Birmingham Iron
Lewis spent one season as the 49ers defensive backs coach during the forgettable 2015 season. He was out of the NFL the past three years before taking over as the head coach of the Iron. His squad improved to 3-0 in their win over the Legends, and they lead the league in fewest points allowed, with 21 total points given up through three weeks.
Beniquez Brown, LB, Birmingham Iron
The Iron defense allowed over 371 yards of offense to the Atlanta Legends, but still managed to hold them to just 12 points. Amid the four turnovers and several fourth-down stops was Brown, who led the defense with 12 total tackles. The former Green Bay Packers linebacker also add a tackle for loss, forced fumble and a pass breakup in Sunday’s 28-12 win over the Legends. Brown (6-1, 240) ranks second among AAF defenders with 19 tackles through three games.
Trent Richardson, RB, Birmingham Iron
The former No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has only averaged 2.4 yards per carry through the first three weeks of the AAF. Sunday was no different, carrying the ball 17 times for 46 yards, averaging 2.7 yards per carry. Where he’s excelled, though, is near the goal line. Richardson scored three touchdowns against the Legends on Sunday, bringing his total to six - three more than Gardner, the next closest back.
Jamar Summers, CB, Birmingham Iron
Summers is the fourth Iron player to make the list this week. The former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback has been dominant in his AAF debut, totaling nine tackles, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, seven pass breakups and two interceptions through three games. Summers (6-0, 190) accounted for four deflections and an interception against the Legends. He’s another player that’s likely to garner attention from the NFL as offseason activities near.
1. Orlando Apollos (3-0)
2. Birmingham Iron (3-0)
3. Atlanta Legends (0-3)
4. Memphis Express (0-3)
1. San Diego Fleet (2-1)
2. Arizona Hothots (2-1)
3. San Antonio Commanders (1-2)
4. Salt Lake City Stallions (1-2)
1. Garrett Gilbert — 827 yards
2. Logan Woodside — 629 yards
3. Matt Simms — 614 yards
1. Ja’Quan Gardner — 281 yards
2. Zac Stacy — 188 yards
3. D’Earnest Johnson — 171 yards
1. Charles Johnson — 305 yards
2. Rashad Ross — 221 yards
3. Quinton Patton — 209 yards
1. Tyson Graham, Jr. — 24
2. Beniquez Brown — 19
3. DeMarquis Gates — 19
1. Karter Schult — 4
2. Shaan Washington — 3
3. Shakir Soto — 2.5
1. Terence Garvin — 3
2. Ryan Moeller — 2
t3. Keith Reaser — 2