April 18, 2012 in Sports

Shock remain cautious with Meyer’s return

By The Spokesman-Review

Spokane Shock quarterback Erik Meyer is eligible to come off injured reserve, but his return from a multitude of injuries remains on hold.

Meyer suffered a concussion and neck and back injuries late in the season opener March 12 when he was drilled on a late hit by Iowa linebacker John Mohring. Prior to Saturday’s win over Milwaukee, Meyer said he’s made progress but his back is still bothering him, which was evident when he walked cautiously off the field while his teammates went through pregame drills at the Arena.

“He won’t come off IR and we don’t have a timetable yet,” said coach Andy Olson, whose 2-3 team has a bye this week before visiting Jacksonville on April 28. “We’ll play it week by week. It’s pretty up in the air.”

Meyer, the 2005 Walter Payton Award winner at Eastern Washington University, was acquired from Utah in a midseason trade in 2011. He immediately became the starter but was unable to finish several games because of injuries, including a concussion, cramping and finally a shoulder ailment that ended his season.

“He’s pretty beat up,” Olson said. “We’re trying to get him better and hopefully we’ll get him back at some point this season.”

Kyle Rowley, who went from starter to injured reserve to backup to starter again when Meyer was injured last season, has directed Spokane’s offense the last two games. Adam Froman, who started Spokane’s second and third games, is the backup.

Geathers off to CFL: As expected, defensive end Jeremy Geathers has left the Shock to prepare for the upcoming season with the B.C. Lions of the CFL. Geathers had six of Spokane’s nine sacks.

James Ruffin, who had a sack in the victory over Milwaukee, Louis Holmes and Brandon Sharpe, who is expected to be activated from IR, give Spokane options at the two defensive end spots.

“We’ll see what these guys can bring,” Olson said. “Jeremy’s a great guy, we’ll miss his presence out here and we wish him the best.”

Notes: Kenny Spencer has made 35 of 36 PATs, a league-leading 97.2 percent. “He’s very accurate and his kickoffs have improved a lot,” Olson said. … Rowley was only pressured a couple of times on Spokane’s 29 offensive plays vs. Milwaukee. Linemen Ryan Cave, Palauni Ma Sun and Ben Ossai and fullback Andrew Nierman provided the protection. … Rowley and center Cave had issues with the exchange for the second straight week, but it didn’t result in the costly fumbles that occurred in the Arizona game. “They just need more reps,” Olson said. “Part of the problem is Ryan isn’t a natural center, but he’s getting more comfortable at center with every down.” … This is the Shock’s second bye, which means they’ll close the regular season by playing 13 consecutive weeks.

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