QB Spitzer out four weeks with torn MCL
By CHRIS WHITE
Chris McCoy will take an opening snap tonight for the first time in more than 12 years.
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McCoy will replace the injured Todd Spitzer as the starting quarterback when the Columbus Lions host the North Georgia Bulldogs, marking his first indoor football start and first since his time as a Navy college player in 1997.
“It’s a big responsibility,” McCoy said. “I’ve got an important job to do, and I’m just going to go out there and make sure I do it.”
Spitzer is expected to be out four weeks after suffering a torn MCL in his right leg, so McCoy is expected to remain the Lions’ starter through tonight’s home game against North Georgia, next week’s home game against Lafayette and a road game at North Georgia the following week. The Lions follow up that stretch with two bye weeks before hosting Greenville on May 15, presumably with Spitzer healthy.
McCoy said he expected himself and his teammates to perform well this week.
“It’s tough to lose a good player in Todd,” McCoy said. “But even though he’s down right now, we still have to find a way to win, and we’re still going to prepare to win every week.”
McCoy last started in a game in December 1997 when he played running back in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game. His last start as a quarterback came earlier that month when he led Navy to a 39-7 victory over Army to end a five-year skid in the rivalry game for the Midshipmen.
McCoy returned to football last season for the first time since college, and he saw sparse playing time as a backup for the Lions as the team spent much of the season with three quarterbacks.
“After starting for such a long period of time, it’s been different having to be patient,” said McCoy, who played at Randolph-Clay High in Cuthbert, Ga. “But I’ve come out here to practice and worked hard, and we’ve had a good team so I don’t think I should have anything to complain about.”
Lions coach Jason Gibson he thinks McCoy is ready for the opportunity and has shown this season he is capable of leading the team.
“I have no doubt the guy is ready,” Gibson said. “He’s going to do a great job. He’s a winner, and he’ll make sure we win.”
The Lions (1-1) also will be without defensive back Damian Daniel who will sit out with a minor hamstring injury, Gibson said.
The North Georgia team is based in Calhoun, Ga., and plays outdoor games. They are a non-SIFL opponent for the Lions and were added to the schedule when one of Columbus’ SIFL opponents, the Houston Lightning, failed to secure a home venue for the season and decided to withdraw from the league for the year.