Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Storm

Abdomen injury sidelines Tampa Bay Storm receiver Amarri Jackson

If the Storm is to make a playoff push during its final three games, starting tonight at Pittsburgh, it will have to do so without one of its top receivers.

Amarri Jackson sustained what the team called an abdominal injury during the June 29 game against Philadelphia and was placed on injured reserve.

Jackson, who starred at USF, was hit in the midsection on a crossing pattern against the Soul and taken to Tampa General Hospital.

Jackson had surgery a day later and remained in the hospital throughout the week. He was released Friday afternoon.

Despite missing four games, Jackson is third on the team with 77 catches and second with 1,012 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.

Going on injured reserve means Jackson must sit out four games, including the first of the playoffs if the Storm qualifies.

coming back: Prechae Rod­riguez, who leads the Storm in catches (98), receiving yards (1,316) and touchdowns (29), is expected to play tonight after sitting out against Philadelphia with a knee injury.

Signings: To replace Jackson, the Storm signed Chris Davis, a standout at St. Petersburg's Gibbs High. The former Wake Forest standout has played for four Canadian Football League teams and played two games for the NFL's Jets. The Storm also signed DB Vance Cuff, a former standout at Georgia.

Playoff look: Despite a four-game losing streak, the Storm (6-9) is only one game out of the American Conference's final berth. Philadelphia (13-3) has clinched the East division and top seed. New Orleans (8-7) leads the South by a half-game over Georgia (8-8). Jacksonville and Cleveland are tied for the final wild card berth at 7-8.

The first tiebreaker is season series. The Storm split two games with Georgia, Jacksonville and Cleveland. It lost to New Orleans and faces it again July 14. The second tiebreaker is point differential in the games. The Storm is even with Georgia (two three-point games), minus-8 against Jacksonville and plus-2 against Cleveland.

Going home: Tonight is the franchise's first game in Pittsburgh since it came to the bay area in November 1990. In 1987, the Pittsburgh Gladiators were one of the Arena Football League's inaugural four franchises, with the Chicago Bruisers, Denver Dynamite and Washington Commandos. The Gladiators played four seasons before moving to the stadium now known as Tropicana Field.