When the XFL released official rosters at noon today we found out that two key members of the Tampa Bay Vipers will begin the 2020 season on the injured reserve list. Obum Gwacham, and Tarean Folston were officially placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list this afternoon per a team-issued release.
Gwacham, the 28-year old, 6-foot-5-inch Oregon State product was highly coveted in the draft and the Vipers used their first selection of the front seven portion on him.
Gwacham is a player with some legitimate National Football League experience, he can lead the Vipers defense and be an effective disruptor in the backfield.
Gwacham had his best NFL-showing in 2015 with the New Orleans Saints where he was featured in nine games and posted eight tackles (two for loss), four QB hits (two-and-a-half sacks) a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Upon his return to the field, Gwacham can be a three-down end who can standup and rush the passer or put his hand in the ground and clog up a run game. If he returns to the lineup in 2020, he will certainly provide a boost to the defensive line.
Crucial turnover from Marquise Williams. Another long drive for the Commanders halted by a turnover. Obum Gwacham forces the fumble and Da’Sean Downey is there to recover. pic.twitter.com/riacgsYVRA— Jonathan Valencia (@JonValenciaPFN) April 1, 2019
Gwacham was most recently with the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football where he posted 9 QB hits, 2.5 sacks, and a tackle for loss. In his absence, expect Deiontrez Mount to see time at defensive end. Mount, a more traditional 3-4 outside linebacker has the ability to line up on the edge and rush the passer.
Folston, a 5-foot-10 inch back signed with the Vipers during training camp. He’s caught the eyes of many in the professional ranks since his time at Notre Dame where he averaged 5.0 yards per carry.
The twenty-five year old was among an impressive crop of running backs during training camp, but is a player that would be getting carries in the current offense. Alongside De’Veon Smith, Jacques Patrick and Mack Brown it is expected that the Vipers will begin the season with a ‘running back by committee’ approach, until a back develops the hot hand and takes over the bulk of carries.
Folston also played last year in the AAF for the Atlanta Legends where he proved to be a viable receiving option out of the backfield. His 26 catches for 163 yards was third amongst AAF backs in receiving. He added 2 touchdowns through the air as a compliment to his 56 carries for 223 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
There was no official team statement made on either players injury, the severity or the time table for their return to the team. As soon as updates are given, they will be passed along on XFL News Hub.
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