The Roughnecks are about as healthy as they can be. For the second straight game, they will be without No. 3 running back De’Angelo Henderson (shoulder), and backup tackle Marques Tucker (knee) is also out, but they are otherwise healthy on both side of the ball.
The Vipers, however, are severely disadvantaged, especially on offense, where they will be without starting quarterback Aaron Murray (foot) and tight end Nick Truesdell (knee), who might be the team’s best all-around player.
On defense, the Vipers are also dealing with injuries along the line. Starting edge rusher Deiontrez Mount (thigh) is technically questionable, but he didn’t practice this week and looks unlikely to play. Rotational defensive tackle Ricky Walker (ankle) also missed practice all week and will probably sit.
So far, the Houston passing game has been nothing short of spectacular. Quarterback P.J. Walker looks like the MVP frontrunner, and he has the league’s best pass-catching quartet in wide receivers Cam Phillips, Sammie Coates, Khalil Lewis and Nick Holley.
Walker is a burgeoning star on the XFL stage, though he might soon outgrow that. His seven touchdowns are the most of any player and outpace six teams’ totals. Walker has flashed pocket awareness, an ability to extend plays and a penchant for making tight-window throws – all traits valued in modern NFL offenses.
With the weapons the Roughnecks have on their offense this should be a easy win for them.
Houston Roughnecks – 38
Tampa Bay Vipers – 17