Stampeders trade for Calgary's Dan Federkeil

Dan Federkeil (right), seen here with running back Dominic Rhodes while playing for the Indianpolis...

Dan Federkeil (right), seen here with running back Dominic Rhodes while playing for the Indianpolis Colts, was acquired by the Stampeders from the Argonauts. (Brent Smith/Reuters/Files)

SCOTT MITCHELL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

CALGARY - The last time Dan Federkeil strapped on the pads and took a hit on a professional football field was back in November 2009.

That hit, while with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, left him with a severe concussion — the third of his career — and forced him into retirement less than a year later.

But the symptoms subsided, and the Medicine Hat product wanted another shot.

He’ll get that chance in his adopted hometown, after Calgary Stampeders head coach/GM John Hufnagel shipped linebacker Akwasi Antwi, a Toronto native, to the Argonauts for Federkeil’s rights Monday.

The Argos’ 2006 first-round draft pick (fifth overall), who starred for the Calgary Dinos on the defensive line before switching to the offensive side of the ball with the Colts, promptly inked a three-year deal with the Stamps and will battle for an offensive tackle spot.

Federkeil, 29, says he hasn’t had any concussion symptoms in two years, and the fact he’ll play strictly along the offensive line — he suffered all of his concussions either playing defence or special teams — makes him and his wife, Shannon, who’s a nurse in Calgary, comfortable with the decision to return.

“The biggest thing I had was ongoing headaches,” Federkeil said Monday. “It really took about six months for the headaches to stop being made worse by exercise. And then, it took a few more months after that for the headaches to go away completely. That was really the big concern for long-term. For short-term,

I had some memory issues that cleared up after a month or two. But remembering that period of time, the worry is there (now). But at the same time, I feel good.”

Federkeil actually first started looking into a comeback last summer, asking a friend to find out who owned his rights.

“I looked on the CFL website, which said I was a free agent, but I wasn’t sure because I always heard that whoever drafts you has your rights forever,” Federkeil said. “I didn’t know if there was a limitation on that time-wise or anything.”

To his surprise, the phone rang last week, and it was Hufnagel on the other end.

“When he called me on Friday, I was actually a little surprised because I hadn’t heard anything since I asked my buddy about my rights, so I wasn’t expecting the phone call,” said Federkeil, who has been working on an economics degree in Calgary since his retirement. “One of the things Huf asked me initially was where I’d be least likely to be injured. And the truth of the matter is, I haven’t had a single head issue playing offensive line, and I kind of underscored things for him right there.”

Everyone involved realizes the risk.

“When we agreed to the trade on Friday, we understood there was an element of risk because Dan had been out of football for three years, and we weren’t sure if he would be interested in playing again,” Hufnagel said in a release. “But when we spoke this weekend, Dan seemed eager to play, and we were able to come to a cap-friendly agreement that rewards Dan if he makes the team and contributes.”

Federkeil is counting down the days to the June 2 start of training camp.

“It’s more just anxious to go and get those first few hits in and get over that hump and kind of get on with it,” Federkeil added.

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