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Houston Roughnecks Re-Shuffle Roster After Poor Start

The Houston Roughnecks made several roster moves following their week three loss to the Michigan Panthers at Ford Field. Obviously, the beginning of the season hasn’t gone the way Houston thought or hoped, so they’re looking to be proactive and turn things around. In addition, they’ve also lost a couple key players for an extended period. Let’s take a look at the Roughnecks’ shakeup.

WR Steven Dunbar Jr.

The Roughnecks waived both wide receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. and cornerback Jeremiah Johnson on Monday night. Dunbar Jr. was a non-factor through the first two weeks of the season but made a nice 19-yard reception against the Panthers on Sunday afternoon. Despite looking good and making a solid first impression, 24 hours later, Dunbar is a free agent. Prior to joining the Roughnecks, Dunbar played his college ball at the University of Houston. After going undrafted, he spent time on the San Fransico 49ers and Denver Broncos. He then had a short stint with the Renegades in XFL 2020 before spending the next three years in the CFL, where he performed well. We may see him jump back to the CFL after his short UFL tenure.

CB Jeremiah Johnson

Cornerback Jeremiah Johnson was cut in a move that directly correlates to the return of cornerback Kiondre Thomas from the suspended list. Johnson had two tackles in Sunday’s contest and three overall this season. He was released by Houston during their training camp cutdowns but found his way back on the roster a few days later. Prior to this season, Johnson spent the last two years with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL. He posted 55 tackles and two interceptions during that time. Johnson also played for the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL’s 2020 season and the Salt Lake Stallions in the AAF. With nearly five years of spring football experience, it seems Johnson will find a home somewhere.

CB Kiondre Thomas

Kiondre Thomas returns to the Houston Roughnecks following his alleged suspension on March 19th. The move was never publicly announced by the team or league, but Houston clearly wanted him back badly enough to release a solid veteran like Jeremiah Johnson. Thomas spent his time at college with the University of Minnesota from 2016-2019, and his final year at Kansas State. He went undrafted and bounced from the Cleveland Browns to the Los Angeles Chargers, and finally the Green Bay Packers for two seasons. He has a fumble recovery and one lone tackle in his NFL career. This’ll be his first spring football action. The secondary will definitely be bolstered by adding more NFL-level talent.

DT Olive Sagapolu

Defensive tackle Olive Sagapolu was placed on the injured reserve list Monday night after sustaining a torn bicep in Sunday’s game against the Panthers. Sagapolu spent the past two seasons with the Pittsburgh Maulers where he totaled 50 tackles and five sacks. He along with defensive end Boogie Roberts helped anchor a fantastic interior on a great defense in the USFL. Spring football fans will remember his near-amazing play in the 2023 USFL Championship where he picked up an Alex McGough fumble and attempted to hand it off to his teammate for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the play was overturned due to a forward lateral. Hopefully Sagapolu heals quickly and is back with Houston in 2025.

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