Receiver Larry Beavers has spent the past six games on the New Orleans VooDoo sideline.
Saturday night marks what could be his return to Arena Football League action.
Beavers, a fourth-year pro of the league, is expected to be active for Saturday’s home against the Jacksonville Sharks (3-5). Kickoff is 7 p.m. at the Smoothie King Center. The game marks Military Appreciation Night.
“It’s been a while,” said Beavers, who suffered a hamstring injury. “I’ve been keeping my body in shape, so I feel good.”
Beavers has appeared in two games, catching nine passes for 100 yards and one touchdown. He also has 12 kick returns for 315 yards, including a franchise-record 58-yard touchdown. Before his injury, Beavers led the AFL in kick return yardage. His 26.2-yard average still leads the AFL.
Last season, he started 12 of 15 games for the VooDoo, earning second-team All-Arena honors as a kick returner. He led the VooDoo in receptions (80) and receiving yards (1,020), while ranking second on the team with 16 receiving TDs.
The VooDoo (2-6) hope to blend Beavers back into the offense, a unit which has changed in his absence from the field. Roger “Spiderman” Jackson (24 catches, 283 yards, seven TDs), signed in May, has teamed with Jackie Chambers (12 receptions 151 yards, TD) to offer the offense new options.
“The team has changed, but for the better,” Beavers said of the VooDoo during his absence. “Roger has worked well in the offense. I hope to jump right back in with the guys. I think we had some great practices (this week), and I felt good.”
The VooDoo won its first game this season against Jacksonville, 51-50. The key to the victory was a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. VooDoo quarterback Adam Kennedy threw for 212 yards with four TDs and an interception, with Chris Duvalt leading VooDoo receivers with seven catches for 99 yards and two scores.
Kennedy, though, has missed the past four games with a shoulder injury, leaving the quarterback duties to Brian Reader.
Jacksonville recovered from a slow start this season, winning its past two games, defeating the Cleveland Gladiators and the Philadelphia Soul. The Sharks are one game behind the first-place Orlando Predators in the AFL’s South Division.
The Predators defense has forced nine turnovers the past two weeks — four interceptions and five fumbles.