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Spokane is back to where it started at starting quarterback.
Opening-day starter Kyle Rowley (pictured from last year's ArenaBowl) has been named the starter for Saturday's road game against New Orleans. Bill Stull, who supplanted Rowley as the starter in the Week 9 game against Dallas, will be the backup. In other moves, Spokane also placed WR Raul Vijil (hamstring) and reserve QB Steven Sheffield on injured reserve and activated WR Chas Gessner from IR.
I've seen my share of strange arena football games over the years, but Saturday's has to rank as one of the strangest. Spokane, which made headlines earlier in the week for changing quarterbacks with Bill Stull taking over as the starter in place of Kyle Rowley, lost both QBs to injuries in a 71-49 win over Dallas.
Spokane's last couple of possessions were handled by receivers-turned-quarterbacks Chas Gessner and Emery Sammons. It'll be interesting to see what happens next: Stull hurt his left knee and though he insists he'll play next week, he had to be helped off the field and he was on crutches afterward. He said there doesn't appear to be serious damage to the major ligaments. Rowley hurt his right (throwing) shoulder. He tried to shake it off, but said it tightened up when he tried to throw passes behind Spokane's bench.
Shock head coach Rob Keefe vowed to make changes after the loss to Pittsburgh and he made a big one for Saturday's home game against Dallas. Keefe has benched veteran quarterback Kyle Rowley and AFL rookie Bill Stull will start.
Rowley has been a fixture at QB the last two seasons, but he's been inconsistent this year. Still, two weeks ago, with an ailling secondary, Keefe chose not to suit up Stull as a backup quarterback in order to dress an extra defender, an unusual move in AFL. Last week, Stull suited up, but was pressed into duty on kick return coverage and he made one tackle.
Keefe made the announcement on his radio show Monday. The Shock told media that Keefe and Stull would be available at 11:15 Tuesday, but that became 12:15 when Keefe exited a long meeting with the offensive unit and said that Stull was off limits to the media.
Asked if other changes were in the works, Keefe said it was possible. He noted that the entire offense played “terribly” in the second half and he was clearly frustrated with the receivers. Spokane signed two receivers last week — Ryan Bagley and Chas Gessner, Rowley's former teammate at Brown who was tossed out of Saturday's game for a scrap on a kick return. WR Markee White is running patterns, but probably won't play this week. LB Antwan Marsh (ankle) is day to day .
As you'll see in the Rowley story link above, we checked in with Shock majority owner Brady Nelson to discuss the speed bump on the field that was visible during the Shock-Rattlers game two weeks ago. Nelson will be available for questions on an S-R chat Thursday at noon. More here (gotta read past Ochocinco and NCAA prez to get to Nelson!).