Been here, done that.
Defensive end Jeremy Geathers is back for his third stint with the Spokane Shock, just in time for another playoff run. It’s not really an on-again, off-again relationship. The Shock would prefer it to be more permanent, but Geathers’ time with the team has been separated by a couple of shifts with B.C. and another with Toronto in the higher-paying Canadian Football League.
Geathers has been released a couple of times in the CFL due to injuries, most recently by Toronto in pre-season after he sprained a knee ligament that required 4-6 weeks to heal.
“Ryan (Rigmaiden, Shock general manager) always keeps in contact with me, probably every two weeks,” said Geathers, who is healthy and expected to play against San Antonio on Friday at the Arena. “I feel like it’s a family here. There’s really no place like playing in front of these fans and not a lot of organizations that you can trust like these guys.”
Geathers bolsters a position that already has James Ruffin (7.5 sacks) and Diyral Briggs (3 sacks in 7 games). Add in linebacker Beau Bell (8 sacks) and nose guard Terrance Taylor (4 sacks) and the Shock appear set up front.
“Anytime we can upgrade we’re going to take that opportunity,” head coach Andy Olson said. “He has one of the quicker get-offs in this game, but he’s really strong for how small looking he is. That’s probably the biggest surprise for an offensive lineman. They look at him and it’s, ‘Oh, I can stop this guy,’ but he’s very strong and very quick.”
Geathers played a key role on Spokane’s 2010 championship team. His sack and forced fumble helped Spokane take control early against Tampa Bay in the ArenaBowl. He was with B.C. in 2011 but was released. Spokane tried to add him to the roster, but Geathers picked Chicago.
“They went out of their way to make me comfortable,” Geathers said, “but I did kind of regret coming to play here (with the Rush) and the fans getting on me like they did. I definitely learned to appreciate Spokane from going to Chicago.”
Geathers had 6.5 sacks in seven games for Spokane in 2012 before leaving to re-join B.C. When the Lions released him, he returned and finished out the season with the Shock.
“I’m the same guy,” he said. “I can’t wait to play in front of the crowd Friday.”
Spokane’s Arvell Nelson is probably the only player in the league listed on the depth chart at four positions – two on offense, one defense and one special teams. And that doesn’t include his duties on PAT, kick return and kick coverage.
Nelson is the backup quarterback and receiver, the starting long-snapper and No. 2 Jack linebacker. He’s seen action at each of those positions at various times this season. He came off the bench last week to make four touchdown catches on four different routes against Jacksonville.
“Great player, great athlete,” quarterback Erik Meyer said. “I’m not afraid to throw him the ball.”
Nelson’s versatility allows Olson flexibility to suit up backups at other positions.
“He almost adds a roster spot for us,” Olson said. “He’s arguably one of our most valuable players. He does everything you ask him to do. He doesn’t care, he just wants to be on the field.”