With more roster spots open for USFL teams the rest of the season, the Houston Gamblers took advantage of it and added some new talent to the roster.
The team announced Thursday and Friday three new additions to the roster as well as one player being released from the roster. Houston added two pass catchers and a linebacker to help out. All the roster moves stem from the league announcing earlier this week that they are increasing the roster sizes from 38 to 40.
Defensive end Azeem Victor was released from the team after playing five games with the team. Victor was able to make an impact on the defensive side which makes the move surprising. He finished tenth on the team with 13.5 tackles in his appearances this season. While he wasn’t a starter on the defensive line, he did prove to be a key rotational player for defensive coordinator Tim Lewis.
One key name that is joining the Houston defense is Tegray Scales. Most spring football fans will remember Scales as being a key contributor to the XFL’s Dallas Renegades’ defense back in 2020. In five games, he recorded 26.5 tackles that season. He will be a key player in the rotation of an already deep linebacking core including Donald Payne and Reggie Northrup.
The team was able to add a couple of key pieces to the offense to help Clayton Thorson out. Wide receiver Darvin Kidsy joins the team after playing for two different teams in the NFL with the Washington Commanders and the Seattle Seahawks. His NFL career spans from 2018 until 2021 when he recorded just one catch for eight yards.
The other addition to the team is tight end Josh Pederson. Son of Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson, Josh went to Louisiana-Monroe finishing his career with 99 catches for 1,191 yards and 11 touchdowns in four seasons. Pederson spent time in the NFL last season with three different teams before being waived from the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this month.
Houston’s roster moves indicate that there is more focus on picking up the passing game and making sure Thorson has all the weapons around him to succeed. Receiver Jojo Ward has been in and out of the lineup to start the season which most likely prompted head coach Kevin Sumlin to add more depth at receiver. As for the tight ends, only eight catches this season between Brandon Barnes and Julian Allen which could mean more opportunities for Pederson to step in.