After a week off, the Orlando Predators return to action against the Portland Steel on Saturday night at the Moda Center, Orlando’s first trip to Portland this season.
Orlando (11-2) is the top ranked team in the Arena Football League, and 5-1 on the road. After an injury to quarterback Randy Hippeard, seventh-year quarterback Bernard Morris has taken over under center for the Predators. Morris is 2-0 as a starter, and has guided Orlando to victories over the Los Angeles KISS and Tampa Bay Storm.
Receiver Brandon Thompkins has been dynamic with 1,228 receiving yards, 105 receptions and 31 touchdown receptions. He ranks first with 1,482 kickoff returns yards and five kickoff return touchdowns. His continued success will be necessary to give Orlando the win on the road.
Portland (1-11) is in the basement of the league, but with the new playoff format can still make the playoffs. With four games left on the schedule, the Steel can build momentum moving forward.
The Steel have been hit by the injury bug this season. Receiver Rashaad Carter returned two weeks ago against the Cleveland Gladiators. He caught six passes for 71 yards and three touchdowns.
In addition, receiver Nick Truesdell returned last game from the injured reserve list to record one touchdown.
Quarterback Shane Austin will need his playmakers healthy as he ranks at the bottom of the league with 1,771 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Kickoff is 10 p.m. ET, and can be viewed on the WatchESPN app.