As the Houston Gamblers prepare for their week three matchup against Tampa Bay, the team cut two players and sign two other players to the roster.
The team announced Thursday morning that they have released defensive linemen Josh Avery and Malik Harris. In their place, Houston signed free safety Alijah Holder and defensive tackle Joey Ivie.
Avery was playing a bigger role in the defense than Harris as he had recorded four tackles in two games with the team. Harris on the other hand was only able to make a half tackle during that two-game span.
During his time at the University of Florida, Ivie recorded seven sacks as a key rotational defensive tackle on a deep defensive line. He has had professional football experience in the NFL playing on eight different teams between 2017 and 2021. Ivie recorded two tackles during his NFL career.
Holder is another player who has NFL experience and has been on active rosters with the Denver Broncos and spent a short stint with the Detriot Lions. His NFL career spanned from 2019 until 2021. Prior to the NFL, he played at Stanford recording, 132 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, 28 passes defended, five forced fumbles, and one touchdown in 37 career games.
Holder’s signing seems to be connected with Houston cornerback Jamar Summers’ injury he has been working through during practice this week. While Holder is listed as a free safety, he did play cornerback at Stanford so he is versatile. Summers has been limited in practice all week with a leg injury that now might bring into question whether he will be a go for the contest against the Bandits.
The big pluses with Holder and Ivie are that they bring plenty of NFL experience that should help them learn Tim Lewis’ defense quickly. It’s unknown how much they will be able to play since they have the learn the playbook, but they might be able to help on special teams for the time being. Fans may not see their impact this week, but these are two players who could make some plays later down the road during the season.
Houston will be taking the field on Saturday afternoon for a 4:00 pm EST kickoff against the Tampa Bay Bandits. The game will be played at Protective Stadium and will be broadcasted on FOX.