By Terrance Turner
The Minnesota Vikings have signed Houston Roughnecks linebacker DeMarquis Gates. The move was confirmed yesterday by FOX-26 sports reporter Mark Berman:
Gates recorded a sack, an interception, and 32 tackles in his time with the Roughnecks. Perhaps his most memorable play came during Week 5, when he forced a fumble and made a fumble recovery. Gates somehow knocked the ball out of Dragons quarterback B.J. Daniels’ hand, then managed to pick the ball up. He then became one of many players in a pile-up on the turf.
Gates allegedly threw a punch while in the pileup, which caused the referee to disqualify him from the game. After the ejection, Gates went into the tunnel. To the surprise of many onlookers, he began signing autographs for fans. He even consented to an interview with an ESPN reporter:
“Why were you ejected from the game?” an ESPN reporter asked.
Roughnecks wide receiver Nick Holley was seen discussing something with the referee just after the disqualification. But when asked about the nature of the discussion, Holley politely declined comment: “I can’t share that,” he smiled.
Former Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker defended Gates when asked about the dust-up: “Gates did a great job forcing the fumble recovery,” Walker said. “Gotta fight for the ball. He did a great job recovering it.”
Gates also did a great job recovering an incomplete pass during the Roughnecks’ match against the Dallas Renegades. As the Dallas quarterback’s pass bounced off the hands of receiver Flynn Nagel, Gates reached out with one hand (!!!) and scooped up the ball before he slid to the ground. Watch the incredible, game-sealing play in the video below.