Spokane is starting to look more like the Shock of April on and off the field.
The Shock have won three straight since Erik Meyer returned as starting quarterback. Wide receiver Adron Tennell and center Ryan Cave have been activated, two more key pieces in Spokane’s plan to make a postseason run.
Spokane (9-7) tries to extend its winning streak against the Tampa Bay Storm (8-8) at the Arena tonight. Tampa Bay is battling Philadelphia for the American Conference’s fourth playoff spot. Spokane will visit San Jose to open the playoffs but insists it has plenty of motivation for its home finale.
“Our record does not show the team we have out on the field,” offensive lineman Patrick Afif said. “I don’t want to finish with nine wins; 11-7 sounds a lot better, so we’re trying to win out. And it’s a mindset. Part of Arizona’s thing is their demeanor, the fear of people thinking they’re all great.”
Tennell, the 2013 AFL receiver of the year, missed eight games with a foot injury. There’s no guarantee he’ll play tonight – he’s listed as a backup on the depth chart – but he’s made some strides of late. A couple of weeks ago Shock coach Andy Olson didn’t sound optimistic about Tennell’s return.
Tennell had 48 catches for 494 yards and 12 touchdowns prior to his injury.
Cave has been back and forth to the CFL twice. He made seven starts for Spokane before accumulating frequent-flyer mileage.
Spokane has had a few extra days to rest after a thrilling 73-66 win over Arizona.
“We’re just trying to take it a little easier on their bodies and get everybody healthy,” coach Andy Olson said. “Really it’s just keeping the urgency, the playoff mentality that we played with against Arizona and knowing we need to get better every week.”