In a season that has gone from bad to worse, things have gotten a little dicier for the New Orleans VooDoo.
Earlier this week, the team put quarterbacks Ryan Perrilloux and B.J. Hall on injured reserve. That came after opening-day starter Kurt Rocco was lost for the season.
The VooDoo (2-9) will start a rookie at quarterback — either Adam Kennedy or Brian Hudson — against the Cleveland Gladiators (10-1) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
To make things tougher for a rookie quarterback, leading receiver L.J. Castille has left the team and is poised to sign with a CFL team.
Castille leads the VooDoo with 68 catches for 921 yards and 26 touchdowns. His TDs rank fourth in the AFL.
“It’s a tough loss, obviously, from a production standpoint,” VooDoo coach Pat O’Hara said.
Meanwhile, Quorey Payne (25 catches for 326 yards and seven TDs) has been placed on recallable reassignment.
Some good news: New Orleans native Courtney Smith is back with the VooDoo, now that his year of school teaching is complete. Smith caught 91 passes last season for 935 yards and 19 TDs.
Cleveland’s defense has allowed 42.8 points per game — second-best in the AFL. Its 23 sacks are tied for second in the league.
“Their first taste of arena football is going to be up against a tough team, but that’s the situation we’re in,”O’Hara said of Hudson and Kennedy. “We’ll see what they can do, and we’ll also look into the future at the position.”
On March 29, the VooDoo lost 37-26 at home to Cleveland.