Teammates of Brad Banks razzed the injured Renegades quarterback when they noticed he was being interviewed by a reporter after yesterday's practice.
But for Banks and some members of the team's staff, his first appearance throwing a ball in practice since training camp was a sign of encouragement.
Banks, the 2002 runner-up for the Heisman Trophy at Iowa, injured his right throwing shoulder during camp.
He said yesterday he suffered a torn labrum, a common injury that shuts down baseball pitchers, and had a sprained rotator cuff which has kept him out of action as the back-up to Kerry Joseph.
"It felt pretty good to get back out there," Banks said. "I'm still going to take it slow, not force anything and just keep getting it stronger."
SHARP PAINS AT CAMP
Banks said he felt sharp pains in his shoulder during camp, but doesn't experience those while throwing now.
"That's a good sign," he said.
Coach Joe Paopao said he thought Banks threw well yesterday, displaying the arm strength and touch that made him one of U.S. college football's top players three years ago.
Paopao hopes to see Banks in the lineup soon, perhaps in two weeks when the Renegades host Saskatchewan on Aug. 11.
When Banks returns, the Renegades will be forced to make a decision to keep one of the two other back-up QBs, rookie Paul Peterson or veteran Darnell Kennedy.
BATTY THE BASHER: Renegades equipment manager Greg Batty swept into action during Thursday's loss to Edmonton when he ran onto the field to tackle a male fan who ran onto the field during an Ottawa drive. "I got the attention of the players. Nobody's leaving their towels on the (locker room) floor anymore," he joked. After the game, Paopao, in an attempt to lighten the mood in a subdued locker room, quipped that Batty's takedown was the team's best hit of the game. "I was going to do it myself, but Greg got there," said the coach. "I don't think the guy thought somebody from the bench was going to go out and get him."
EXTRA POINT: Placekicker Matt Kellett (groin) did not participate in practice. Newcomer Mark Irvin booted field goals prior to the workout and made 2-of-4 attempts from 28 yards at the end of practice.