Chief Vick calls Shawn and Gus down to the station. Shawn asks if he's finally getting an official cop badge but instead he is told that a severed foot was found by hikers on a trail near Lake Cachuma. The foot was in plain sight, so the cops believe it was meant to be found. They may have a murder on their hands and they need Shawn to psychically figure out to whom the foot belongs. From scars and other identifiers, Shawn and Gus deduce that the foot belongs to Vlad Alexavic, the pro-kicker for the Thunderbirds. He always kicks without a shoe and hasn't been at training camp, supposedly because he is holding out. Shawn and Gus show up at training camp and meet Lassiter and Juliet there. They talk to the coach, Sammy Winslow, a retired quarterback and childhood hero of Shawn's. Sammy is shocked to hear about Vlad and grants them access to the team. Lassiter and Juliet interview the players. One of them, Matt Tompkins, tells them he heard Vlad owed bookies and recently lost even more money after failing to open a nightclub with one of his Russian cousins. Meanwhile, Shawn and Gus find Vlad's cell phone in his locker and see that he received a threatening text message. Lassiter thinks it all points to the Russian mob but Shawn worries the evidence was too easy to find. As the cops get a proper search warrant for Vlad's belongings, Shawn and Gus talk Sammy into letting them investigate undercover with the team.
Shawn poses as a kicker and, as a training intern, Gus discovers that most of the players hated Vlad except for Matt Tompkins, Vince Garner and Drew Shackler. They are the craziest guys on the team and call themselves "The Warriors." Shawn realizes he needs to get close to them in order to figure out what happened to Vlad. In doing so, he notices a thin red burn around Matt's wrist and a keychain with O.R.W. on it in Vince's things. He also notices Vince scratching a rash on his leg and remembers pink calamine lotion he saw on Vlad's foot. Shawn suspects poison oak and Gus tells him it can be found near fresh water. Shawn now has an idea of where Vlad's body is.
At the police station, Lassiter and Juliet find betting slips and a phone number for a bookie. The cops track down Sergei, Vlad's bookie, at a Russian laundry and haul him in for questioning. Sergei leads them in the direction of cabin near Lake Cachuma where the cops find Vlad's body just before Shawn and Gus arrive. Shawn notices a thin red burn on Vlad's wrist and some tracks in the mud. Shawn's upset that the cops beat him to the body. Hoping to make him feel better, Juliet hands him a fake laminated badge, the closest he can get to real credentials. Shawn asks Vick not to release the information on the body. He says he doesn't buy the Russian angle because all signs lead directly there - as if on purpose. Vick gives him one day to prove his theory.
Back at training camp, Shawn tells Gus that the answer to what happened to Vlad lies with the Warriors, but when they get to their room, they are hooded and abducted. As it looks like they are about to be thrown off the roof of the stadium, Matt and Vince show up and stop it, warning they could all lose their contracts. It turns out the whole thing was a hazing stunt, but when Shawn asks what Matt meant about the contracts, he's are told not to worry, his isn't guaranteed. Shawn talks to Sammy who tells him he put behavior clauses into all of his players' contracts, stating that if any of them get caught doing dangerous things off the field, they will be cut from the team. It seems the only thing that can keep the players in line these days is the threat of lost money. Shawn gets an idea and has Sammy give a press conference on Vlad's death, which puts the pressure on the Warriors who start fighting amongst themselves. But Gus shows up and says the cops told him Vlad wasn't murdered.
At the station, Shawn learns Vlad's injuries were consistent with a motor vehicle accident. Shawn notices there aren't any cuts from broken glass on the body and sees amongst Vlad's things another O.R.W key chain. He realizes O.R.W. stands for Off Road Warriors, off road meaning ATVs. Shawn and Gus return to stadium to get proof on his theory, but they see that someone has broken into Shawn's locker and found his laminated badge. The Warriors show up and confront Shawn, who says he knows they were ATVing when Vlad got into an accident with Matt, throwing them so violently that the emergency kill switch tether left burns on their wrists, killing Vlad and severing his foot. The guys then had to cover it up since if it came out they were ATVing, they would all lose their contracts. So they fed the cops the Russian mob story and sent a fake threatening text to Vlad's phone. Matt tells them they are in too deep to let the story come out now, so Shawn and Gus run for their lives. Sammy, who had been there watching game film, hears the commotion and comes out to save Shawn and Gus. Matt tells Sammy that he'll never win if three of his starters are arrested. Sammy agrees, but says he is sick of trying to win at any cost. Matt, then, turns on his coach, too, but Lassiter and Juliet arrive in time and arrest the Warriors. In appreciation for all that Shawn has done, Sammy lets him fulfill a childhood dream as he leads the Thunderbirds out of the tunnel onto the field on game day. Gus takes Juliet to the tunnel so that she can see Shawn running out with the team; it is clear that Juliet is impressed.
The title acknowledges TV timeslots for season 1-3 and the first half of season 4 and the 1999 Al Pacino - Cameron Diaz American football film Any Given Sunday.
The gallery for Any Given Friday Night at 10pm, 9pm Central can be found here.