Three former members of the Buffalo Bills will have the chance on Sunday to do what their former NFL team has never done — end the season as league champions.
A trio of onetime Bills players are competing in Sunday’s USFL title game, two for the Birmingham Stallions and one for the Philadelphia Stars. While none of them were able to make much of an impression during their brief NFL careers, one was been able to shine in the new league and could cap off the season with a title.
The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here!
Bills on Both Sides
When the Stallions and Stars face off on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, there will be former Bills players on both sides — though two of them were never able to suit up for a regular-season game. Philadelphia cornerback Brian Allen was invited to the Bills’ training camp in 2020 but was cut before the season started, the same fate that teammate Bug Howard suffered the following season. The tight end was part of Bills’ training camp in 2021 but did not make the final roster.
Birmingham wide receiver and kick returner Victor Bolden Jr. did have a short stint with the Bills, joining late in the 2018 season and handling some return duties. He appeared in two games and returned five kicks for a 23.2-yard average, with a longest of 28 yards.
While Bolden had a rather non-descript NFL career, he made the most of his second opportunity in the USFL. He was Birmingham’s first pick in the draft round designated for wide receivers, and finished the season first in all-purpose yards.
Bolden had 41 receptions for 397 yards and a touchdown, but had the biggest impact in the return game. He had 618 kick return yards and 176 punt return yards, giving him a league-best 1,209 all-purpose yards over the course of the league’s 10-game season. Bolden was named to the All-USFL team offense.
Bolden Led Stallions to Title Game
Bolden continued to shine in the playoffs. After the New Orleans Breakers tied his Stallions at 14-14 in last week’s playoff game, Bolden returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. As Ryan Gaydos of Fox Sports noted, it was the first kick-return touchdown of the USFL’s inaugural season and helped push the Stallions to a 31-17 win, giving them a berth in the title game.
“It means a lot,” Bolden told Fox News Digital about his go-ahead touchdown. “Especially when you talk about being a playmaker you always want to come in and do something that will help the team win. It came at the most opportune time. Our special teams unit talked about it before the game that it was going to be really important this week that we helped our offense and defense with field position. I felt great.”
Bolden said he’s excited for the chance to compete for a title, though has a bit of nerves before the big game.
“I’m feeling good,” he told Fox News Digital. “To get where we as a team talked about going is always exciting. Just the calm before the storm at this point trying to get ready.”