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Spokane Empire

Shock search for quarterback after injuries

The Spokane Shock were 30 minutes into practice Tuesday when quarterback Bill Stull approached head coach Rob Keefe with a smile on his face.

Stull, still on crutches after injuring his left knee in his first start Saturday, informed the coach that MRI results indicated he didn’t suffer a serious injury. Stull has a bone bruise and slight sprain. Recovery time can vary, but Stull isn’t expected to go on injured reserve, a minimum four-week stint. He’s not expected to play Friday against Tampa Bay.

Former starter Kyle Rowley was placed on IR with an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder and offensive lineman Shannon Tevaga was activated. Rowley will have his shoulder examined Friday, but he doesn’t believe it will require surgery. He hopes to return later in the regular season.

Meanwhile, three quarterbacks auditioned at practice, throwing pass after pass to a bevy of receivers, defensive backs, ‘Jack’ linebacker Antwan Marsh and even kicker Taylor Rowan. Casey Hansen, who backed up Nick Davila on Spokane’s 2009 af2 championship team, is the only one with arena experience. Former Shadle Park High standout Josh Powell and former Texas Tech quarterback Steven Sheffield are competing for the job.

“I don’t want to crown (Hansen) anything right now,” Keefe said. “I was impressed how quickly the other two picked things up in the meetings. I want them to truly earn it.”

Keefe plans on narrowing it to two candidates soon with the hope of naming a starter tonight or Thursday morning. If necessary, Keefe said he has two quarterbacks on stand-by that he could call to serve as the backup Friday.

Hansen’s phone rang late Saturday night after Spokane’s win over Dallas. He recognized the 509 area code and listened to the message from Shock director of player personnel Ryan Rigmaiden. Hansen considered his options before returning Rigmaiden’s call Sunday afternoon.

“Every player when he walks away is always thinking, ‘What would happen if I had that second chance?’” said Hansen, who works at his brother’s data communications business in Corona, Calif. “I talked with my brothers and friends and they always wished they had that second chance. I didn’t want to go through life wondering what could have happened.”

Hansen had an impressive 141 passer rating after throwing for 543 yards and 13 touchdowns in limited duty in 2009. He re-signed with the Shock for 2010, but opted to go elsewhere to have a better chance at starting. He ended up with Alabama, but that didn’t work out.

and he returned home to work at his brother’s company.

The 6-foot-5 Hansen stayed in good shape, but he hadn’t thrown a football in “months”.

“But I came out here 10 minutes ago (before practice) and threw it around and if felt good,” he said. “It’s kind of like riding a bike. My arm might be a little sore and the first couple days I might be off a little bit, but it’ll come back.”

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