Mobley braces for action

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

Singor Mobley was the elder statesman among the Men in Grey at Commonwealth Stadium on Thanksgiving Day.

A partially torn medial collateral ligament landed the Edmonton Eskimos linebacker on the one-game injured list for Monday's 39-19 victory over the Montreal Alouettes.

Reluctantly, Mobley donned the grey sweatsuit which has become de rigeur for the Esks' injured and practice roster players who camp out at one end of the team's bench.

The six-foot, 200-pound Mobley was the most animated of the group as he waved a towel almost incessantly in an effort to whip the Commonwealth crowd into a frenzy.

Mobley was one of the first to mob Esks defensive back Donny Brady following his interception of an Anthony Calvillo pass during the opening quarter.

"I guess I can just sit out the rest of the year if they can play like that, I don't need to do nothing else," deadpanned Mobley, who marked his 32nd birthday by learning how to run with a brace on his left knee.

"I told them I was going to be on the sideline and trying to point some things out if I saw something. I just didn't get any contact."

SUNDAY'S GAME IS HUGE

While the win over Montreal was not insignificant, with second place in the CFL Western Division on the line, Sunday's game between the Esks and Saskatchewan Roughriders is huge.

Mobley is determined to throw in the towel on cheerleading this week. He wants to bang a few heads at Regina's Taylor Field instead.

"In my mind, I'm sure I'll be on this week and I'll be playing," the seven-year CFL veteran said yesterday.

Under normal circumstances, putting a player with a partially torn ligament on artificial turf might be deemed risky.

However, with the defending Grey Cup champions looking to lock up second spot and secure home turf advantage in the division semifinal, desperate times call for desperate measures.

At least that's the way Mobley sees it.

"I trust our training staff and they've equipped me with a brace that should help prevent further injury," said Edmonton's leading tackler.

"As long as I do the things they tell me to do to strengthen it and all that, I think it will be fine. Right now, it's all mental just being able to go out there and do what I do."

In Mobley's absence, Glen Young and rookie Antonio Wilson were rotated through the box against the Als.

Powered by running backs Kenton Keith and Corey Holmes, Saskatchewan's ground game is significantly more potent than the one offered up by Montreal.

And having Mobley back in the lineup Sunday would be a definite plus. Yet despite Mobley's desire to get back on the active roster, head coach Tom Higgins won't roll the dice if Mobley isn't healthy enough to suit up.

"That's the reason he might not go," said Higgins. "It's going to come down to whether we feel he can do it or not. This is a very important football game for us and we want to line up and win the football game.

"But we'll never put an athlete in a position where they'll hurt themselves. If they can't protect themselves, they don't get to go."

Wearing a brace is the only shot Mobley has at playing versus Saskatchewan. Higgins and the team medical staff have already told the Washington State product, no brace means no go.

LATERAL MOVEMENT A CONCERN

Mobley concedes his lateral movement may not be up to snuff.

And when you're trying to track down the jitterbugging Keith, that could add to the challenge.

"It's still tender but it's feeling a whole lot better from when I hurt it in Hamilton (Oct. 1)," he said.

"The knee brace restricts some of your movement but for the most part it's fine. There wasn't any more swelling (after the test run) than there has been and the pain has gone away naturally on its own."

Although he hasn't discussed it with Mobley, middle linebacker A.J. Gass knows a couple of things about playing with a brace.

After ripping up his left and right knees in back-to-back seasons, Gass eventually found himself sporting a carbon-graphite appliance on each knee. Gass, who ditched his braces prior to training camp, doubts wearing a brace will impact Mobley's overall quickness.

"He's the type of guy who's going to get on the field and go 100 miles an hour whether he's one brace, two braces, neck brace, back brace, whatever," Gass grinned. "You can count on him going 100 per cent, I don't think the brace will slow him down at all.

"It's always a good thing to have one of your best linebackers on the field. He brings a lot to the table as far as emotion, intensity and football sense.

"I can't say enough about how solid a job Glen did coming in, making nine tackles and playing solid when we needed him. With Singor we get a little bit of that edge back."


Videos

Photos