The Houston Roughnecks have made a pair of roster moves ahead of week 9, bringing in a new running back and a guard. This move comes off a week where their run game was as productive as it’s been all season, albiet in a 35-28 loss to Birmingham.

Bringing in Ezra Gray is a heads up move in my mind, and I hope we get to see some snaps out of him as the season winds down. He’s was rostered by Houston earlier this year and has some pro experience with the Memphis Showboats and New Orleans Breakers in the USFL, totalling 18 rushes for 95 yards, and 7 receptions for 23 yards.

He has breakaway speed, and was a consistent performer at Alabama State from 2016-2021. In that time, he rushed for 1959 yards and 11 TD’s, with 52 receptions for 341 yards and 3 scores. He seems like the perfect kind of spell to come in and add another dimension to this offense behind Mark Thompson.

TJ Pledger has had a large role this season as Mark Thompson worked his way back from injury, though he is averaging 3.3 yards a carry and with this addition I wonder if and how a platoon might work out.

They also brought in Guard Shamarious Gilmore. Gilmore was a five-time All-Sun Belt selection at Georgia State, and was team captain twice. After a stint with the Seattle Seahawks he started ten games last year for the Philadelphia Stars in the USFL, and his signing could indicate that the team is looking to make a change at guard. His natural position is LG, but could likely play either spot.

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Matthew Nagashima
Matt Nagashima has been covering Spring Football with News Hub since the XFL's 2019 Draft, and received Press Credentials to cover the Dallas Renegades in 2020. He has also covered the NFL with Pro Football Doc, and received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Colorado State University.

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