As expected, Spokane has shuffled its lineup in hopes of snapping a three-game Arena Football League losing streak.
The Shock (5-3) entertain New Orleans (1-6), which brings the league’s worst record and a six-game losing streak into tonight’s game at the Arena. Head coach Andy Olson has made several changes following last week’s 83-82 loss to Orlando.
Chris Pino, a mainstay on Shock offensive lines the last few years when healthy, has been activated from injured reserve and replaces Palauni Ma Sun. Brandon Thompkins, who saw some action last week after being acquired in a trade with Utah, will start at receiver. He was with the Shock in 2011-12.
Receiver Kamar Jorden, who missed last week’s game to attend a tryout with the Indianapolis Colts, returns to the starting lineup. Patrick Stoudamire gets the nod over Cameron McGlenn in the secondary, which was victimized against Orlando. Spokane has also signed ex-Shock defensive back Ruschard Dodd-Masters.
Taylor Rowan, a crowd favorite on 2010-11 Shock teams, will handle kicking duties. Kenny Spencer has returned from his tryout with the New England Patriots but Rowan will be in the lineup.
“We’re looking for them to make an immediate impact and get the competition going,” Olson said.
In terms of points scored and allowed, Spokane has had two of its worst offensive games and two of its worst defensive games in the last three outings.
“Being a captain, we’re going to keep the team together,” offensive lineman Ryan Cave said. “We’ll push through it. We’ll be just fine.”
New Orleans has struggled since knocking off Orlando 51-45 in the season opener. The VooDoo haven’t scored more than 43 points since and they rank last in the AFL at 34.9 per game.
Three have taken turns at quarterback, including ex-Shock player Bill Stull. Kurt Rocco, who has completed 48 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions, is expected to start. New Orleans ranks last in pass efficiency (63.8) and 11th of 14 in points allowed (56.7).