Will Chase Garbers Play in Sunday’s XFL Conference Title Game?

Update: Former Cal quarterback Chase Garbers will be the starting quarterback for the San Antonio Brahmas on Sunday
San Antonio Brahmas quarterback Chase Garbers (14) throws a pass in a March 31 game
San Antonio Brahmas quarterback Chase Garbers (14) throws a pass in a March 31 game / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

If Chase Garbers’ left wrist has healed sufficiently, he will be the San Antonio Brahmas’ starting quarterback in Sunday’s XFL Conference championship game against the St. Louis Battlehawks.  However, there is uncertainty whether the former Cal quarterback will be able to play.

As of Friday, it was still uncertain whether Garbers or Quinten Dormady will be the Brahmas’ quarterback in Sunday’s title game in St. Louis, which will start at 4 p.m. Pacific time and will be televised by Fox. The winner of that game will play in the United Football League championship game against the winner of Saturday’s USFL conference title game between Birmingham and Michigan.

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Update: Garbers will start Sunday's game:

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Friday’s San Antonio Express-News reported this:

“San Antonio’s quarterback situation remains unsettled, with starter Chase Garbers limited through this week’s practices due to a left wrist injury.”

The fact that Garbers might start this playoff game seemed impossible eight weeks ago.  That’s when Garbers suffered a left-wrist injury in San Antonio's third game an April 14 game. Two days later virtually every news outlet reported that Garbers would be out for the rest of the season.  However, the Express-News reported there was an outside chance that Garbers could return for the postseason if the Brahmas reached the playoffs.

Garbers did better than that.  He came in off the bench in the May 25 game against the Birmingham Stallions, replacing Dormady, who had been San Antonio’s starting quarterback in Garber’s absence but suffered an injury against Birmingham. Garbers led San Antonio to an 18-9 victory over previously unbeaten Birmingham.

Garbers then started last week’s final regular-season game against St. Louis, but left that game after re-injuring his left wrist. Dormady played the rest of the game in the 13-12 loss to St. Louis. Each team finished with 7-3 records, but St. Louis earned the home field for the playoffs with the win. (The headline for that game was that Dormady did not have a speaker in his helmet to receive verbal play calls from the offensive coordinator. He had to come over to the sideline after each play.)

So now the question is whether Garbers has recovered sufficiently from that second wrist injury to play Sunday.

On Wednesday of this week, Brahmas head coach Wade Phillips had this to say to the Express-News about the team’s quarterback situation:

“We’ll see, but we have a lot of confidence in Dormady. Chase is working his way back. I thought he was a little rusty this last game even before he got hurt, but he’s getting to practice for the second week, so I feel good about him getting the rust off.

“Some of it is pain tolerance, so I don’t think that’s a full go.  It’s just how he feels tomorrow and at game time as to where he is, as far as the pain.”  

Garbers practiced on a limited bases, wearing a protective cast on his left, non-throwing hand.

Garbers has played in five games, including four starts, and has completed 68.6% of his passes with six touchdowns, two interceptions, five sacks and a total quarterback rating of 90.3

Dormady played in seven games, including six starts, and has completed 59.5% of his throws with six TDs, six interceptions, 12 sacks and a total QB rating of 77.8.

Garbers had started the first three games of the season, at which point he led the UFL in completion percentage (70.8%) and touchdown passes (six).

"First part of the year he was obviously the best quarterback in the league," Phillips said.

By the way, Garbers turned 25 years old on Thursday.

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Jake Curtis

JAKE CURTIS

Jake Curtis worked in the San Francisco Chronicle sports department for 27 years, covering virtually every sport, including numerous Final Fours, several college football national championship games, an NBA Finals, world championship boxing matches and a World Cup. He was a Cal beat writer for many of those years, and won awards for his feature stories.