The Calgary Stampeders have another retirement along their offensive line, although this one wasn’t unexpected.
Matt Sheridan, who was signed as a free agent after missing the past two seasons, has decided to go on the retired list while he attempts to get back into football shape.
The former Winnipeg Blue Bombers guard came into camp at 383 lb., a surprise to both he and head coach John Hufnagel.
“He came to the realization that he isn’t in the type of shape he needs to be in,” Hufnagel said. “He wants to go home to Winnipeg and work diligently at reducing his weight and bettering his conditioning. We’ll assess it at that time.”
Due to the loss of Dimitri Tsoumpas to the NFL and the retirement of Jeff Pilon, the Stamps signed both Dan Comiskey and Sheridan to give themselves some veteran stability.
Right before camp started, left guard Jesse Newman suddenly retired as well, opening another hole in the starting roster.
But Sheridan never competed much in camp, suffering a head injury on opening day and then sitting with a knee injury for a week in between pre-season game where he didn’t suit up.
Hufnagel isn’t closing the door on a possible comeback for the 33-year-old, but his team will go in a different direction for the time being.
“Both parties are trying accommodate each other,” Hufnagel said. “He enjoyed his time here. He liked the organization. He would like the chance to play football again, but he realizes it can’t be in the condition he’s in.”
Comiskey is slated to be the starting left guard, while sophomores Jon Gott and Steve Myddelton are embroiled in a battle for the right-guard position, which was played by all-star Tsoumpas last season.
“They have earned the opportunity to show they can be players in this league,” Hufnagel said about Gott and Myddelton, both of whom were late-round picks in 2009.
“I had faith the young players we drafted (last year) have progressed to a point where they can go in there and play the game and play winning football.”