The 2013 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Monday that two members of the team’s veteran core will return to the lineup, as the team has reactivated quarterback Bernard Morris from injured reserve, and activated wide receiver Jeff Hughley from team suspension.
The 28-year-old Morris (6'4", 215) started 11 of the Sharks’ first 12 games before suffering an injury in the team’s Week 12 matchup against the Spokane Shock. Morris was placed on injured reserve on June 20. This season, Morris has completed 226 of his 347 pass attempts (65.1%) for 2,419 yards and 50 touchdowns against just eight interceptions. Morris ranks eighth among qualifying players with a pass efficiency rating of 111.8. The Sharks have an 8-3 record in games in which Morris has started this season.
Morris began the 2013 campaign with an impressive hot streak, accounting for 24 total touchdowns (20 passing, four rushing) without throwing an interception in the team’s first four games. Morris is in his second season as the Sharks’ starting quarterback, taking over midway through 2012 to lead the team to a South Division championship. Morris also played with Jacksonville in 2010, serving as the team’s backup while filling in at Jack linebacker and contributing on special teams.
Morris was originally assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a two-year contract on October 24, 2012.
Hughley, 28, has appeared in 11 games to this point in the season. One of the most dynamic skill-players in the entire League, Hughley (5'8", 175) ranks third on the team with 74 receptions for 830 yards and 13 touchdowns. Among the Sharks’ top six receivers, Hughley leads the way with an average of 11.2 yards per reception. He has also utilized his speed in short-yardage situations, scoring four rushing touchdowns on just six attempts. Hughley is a threat on special teams as well, and is just one of two players in the entire league to return a missed field goal for a touchdown this season. Overall, Hughley ranks fourth in the league with an average of 169.5 all-purpose yards per game.
The reigning J. Lewis Small Ironman of the Year, Hughley spent the 2012 season with the Philadelphia Soul, totaling 77 receptions for 1,001 yards and 19 touchdowns while returning 92 kickoffs for 1,865 yards and five scores. He finished tied for the league lead with those five touchdowns, third in the league in kickoff return yards and seventh in the league with an average of 160.3 all-purpose yards per game. With the Sharks in 2011, Hughley was the team’s third leading receiver, racking up 1,171 yards and 22 touchdowns on 89 receptions. Of the five Jacksonville receivers with more than 25 catches that season, Hughley led the group with an average of 13.2 yards per reception. On the way to helping the Sharks to their ArenaBowl XXIV title, Hughley earned a spot on the 2011 All-Ironman team.
Before heading to Jacksonville, Hughley broke into the AFL with the Tulsa Talons, playing for the team in 2010. He also was a member of the Talon squad when that team competed in af2 in 2009. Hughley was originally assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a three-year contract on November 6, 2012.
The Sharks also announced Monday that the team has placed defensive lineman Justin Parrish on recallable reassignment. Following the transactions, the Jacksonville roster carries the league maximum total of 24 active players.