Just a day after winning their second game of the season, the Arlington Renegades made some roster moves in preparation for week four.
Their first move was to make a trade to add some depth to the receiving core. Arlington was part of a three-team trade that included tight end Alex Ellis moving to the DC Defenders and the Renegades receiving JaVonta Payton from the Orlando Guardians.
The next move was starting cornerback Josh Hawkins being moved to the reserve list. Hawkins left the game against the Orlando Guardians Sunday as he suffered an injury late in the fourth quarter.
Payton played his college football career at Mississippi State and Tennessee. During his one season at Tennessee, he caught 18 passes for 413 yards and six touchdowns. He has recently spent time with the Arizona Cardinals on their practice squad but never played in the regular season. Orlando signed him in late January and has not recorded any stats for the team so far this season.
What makes Payton a smart move for Arlington is they are looking for more deep threats in the passing game and he could be that guy. He was known in Tennessee for his big play ability averaging 23 yards per catch during his time in Knoxville. With no sign of Rannell Hall coming back, Payton will fit into the Renegades’ offense well as their big-play receiver.
The bigger news comes with the loss of Hawkins who has been stable for the Renegades’ defense in 2020 and this season. He has recorded seven tackles, two pass breakups, and one forced fumble in three games. Arlington’s secondary has already been taking a blow to their depth as they placed safety, Jamal Carter, on the reserve list last week with a lower leg injury. Cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc missed Sunday’s game with a foot injury he’s been dealing with. To top it off, cornerback Shakur Brown has been dealing with an ankle injury himself.
Arlington now has to have a next-man-up mentality where it appears that Darren Evans is most likely to step into Hawkins’ place should Brown not be 100 percent healthy. Hawkins was a leader on this defense and team and even spoke to the fans before the Guardians game pumping them up for the kickoff. The Renegades will have to lean on De’Vante Bausby and Will Hill to pick up the slack in the secondary so this defense doesn’t lose a beat.
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