Last week I highlighted defensive end Joe Sykes as my player to watch and I normally wouldn't highlight the same player twice but considering the situation for this Saturday's game I am telling you to keep an eye on Sykes again this weekend.

The Albany Empire are hosting the Washington Valor Saturday at 6 pm Saturday at The Times Union Center. The Valor are 0 - 5 total and 0 - 2 against the Empire. Which means this team will be borderline desperate to get a win and they have a new quarterback, Shane Austin has invigorated the Valor offense.

According the the Albany Empire press release:

Though he was assigned to the Valor roster prior to the first meeting with the Empire, Austin made his first appearance of the season a week ago in a one-point heartbreaking loss to the first place Baltimore Brigade.  The Valor’s star quarterback, Nick Davila, went down early in the year with a season ending injury, leaving backup Warren Smith to face the physical Empire defense in both previous matchups.  This will be the first time Albany has seen Austin this season.  Austin poses as a dual threat quarterback due to his accuracy in the pocket and mobility on the ground.  In his debut a week ago, Austin had 228 yards and four touchdowns through the air and another 28 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

So with Austin upgrading the Valor offense the Empire will need Joe Sykes to pressure Austin and keep him from putting too many points on the board.

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