Christian Hackenberg
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Former New York Jets second-round pick Christian Hackenberg will be replaced as the Memphis Express starting quarterback.

Geoff Magliocchetti

The Christian Hackenberg era in the Alliance of American Football has come to an end.

The former New York Jets draft pick has seen his reign as the Memphis Express starting quarterback come to an end. Memphis head coached Mike Singletary announced this week that Zach Mettenberger will start the team’s next game on Saturday afternoon against San Diego (4:00 p.m. ET, B/R Live).

Thus potentially ends Hackenberg’s first stretch of starting on the professional level. It was an opportunity denied to him in New York, where he did not appear in a regular season game.

Over the first three games, all Memphis losses, Hackenberg threw for 277 yards, no passing touchdowns, and three interceptions (he ran for a score in a Week 2 loss to the Arizona Hotshots).

He was relieved by Mettenberger in two of those games, including a 21-17 defeat on Saturday against Orlando. Over 12 attempts, Mettenberger has tallied 120 yards and two touchdown passes. He has made 10 starts in the NFL, all with the Tennessee Titans over the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Hackenberg’s professional career has not gone according to plan after a strong career at Penn State. Before the Jets took him in the second-round (51st overall) in the 2016 draft, he was a three-year starter with the Nittany Lions.

Currently, he ranks second all-time in program history in passing yards (8,457) and touchdown passes (48). He was a second-rounder once more in November’s AAF QB Draft, chosen by the Express.

Memphis is one of two imperfect teams left in the AAF’s inaugural season. The other, the Atlanta Legends, is quarterbacked by another former Jet at quarterback, Matt Simms.

Though the Legends are likewise winless, Simms ranks third in the league in yardage (614) and second behind 2018 training camp arm John Wolford in Arizona in completion percentage (59.4).

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