Sunday, April 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Storm

Storm to get McPherson back

TAMPA — One is back. The other is not.

Storm QB Adrian McPherson returned to practice Tuesday after injuring his nonthrowing (left) arm during last week's loss to San Antonio. The former Florida State star was blindsided in the fourth quarter but said earlier this week it was only a stinger.

And McPherson, whose 12 rushing touchdowns lead the league, is expected to start tonight at Orlando.

Shane Boyd replaced McPherson against the Talons and went 4-of-7 for 39 yards and a touchdown before he left with a knee injury. Boyd did not practice this week, and his status for tonight is uncertain.

As a result, the Storm signed Randy Hippeard. Coach Dave Ewart said he likes what he has seen out of Hippeard, who played at NAIA Virginia-Wise.

"We had him here in training camp," he said. "He knows the system and has looked pretty good."

To make room on the roster, the team placed Terrence Crosby on injured reserve, ending the fullback's season. His injury was not disclosed. Nick Torresso, who started for Crosby against San Antonio, is expected to start tonight.

"(Losing him) was a tough one," Ewart said of Crosby, who rushed for three touchdowns. "He was a big, athletic guy who could do a bunch of things; one of our few veterans."

Catching on: Storm defensive backs will see two familiar faces tonight on Orlando's roster. Prechae Rodriguez and Amarri Jackson played for Tampa Bay in 2012. Rodriguez, out of Tampa's Jefferson High, caught 125 passes for 1,653 yards and 32 touchdowns. Jackson, a star at USF, caught 77 passes for 1,012 yards and 20 touchdowns. Rodriguez currently is fourth in the Arena League with 376 receiving yards (on 24 catches).

The Rivalry: Tonight is the 51st installment of the Arena League's most famous rivalry and the 43rd time Tampa Bay and Orlando have met in the regular season. How close is the series? Each team has won 25 times.

Scouting the Predators: Orlando enters 0-3, coming off a 61-33 home loss to Philadelphia. … The Predators are 10th among 14 teams in scoring at 46.7 points per game (they fired offensive coordinator Chris Siegfried this week) and 11th in points allowed at 59.0. … QB Kyle Rowley is 60-of-114 for 755 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. … Rodriguez is Rowley's favorite target. But Jackson has played well, catching 16 passes for 226 yards and five touchdowns. … Orlando coach Doug Plank is in his first season following two as Philadelphia's coach. He played eight seasons at safety for the Bears. Then-defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan named the Bears' famous "46" after Plank's jersey number.

Time change: The May 4 home game against New Orleans was moved to 9 p.m. in order to air on CBS Sports Network. It becomes the second of three Storm games on the network.