'Pretty sure'

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 5:25 PM ET

Based on the current odds, Bruce Beaton will likely play his last game for the Edmonton Eskimos next month.

The three-time CFL all-star offensive lineman is "pretty sure" he'll retire at the end of the season.

In fact, he believes there is less than a 5% chance he will come back for a 13th year in the league because of two main factors: a) the condition of his knees and b) his original plan was to play just this season.

"I have had a total of six knee surgeries," said the four-time Eskimo nominee as most outstanding lineman.

"There is only so much life in your knees."

Family is also playing a role in Beaton's decision-making process.

The 37-year-old Nova Scotia native just moved his wife and two small children - Layla and Sam - across the country to the family home in the Maritimes during the Eskimo bye week after spending the summer and early fall in Edmonton.

Dad's been apart from his family for only a few days, but the empty void is massive.

"I really miss the kids a lot," explained the six-foot-five, 288-pound left tackle. "It's a drag."

If Beaton does retire this year, it won't be his first walk down this path.

LOVE FOR THE FAMILY

His deep love for his family caused him to retire last year. Sam was born during training camp last spring - and dad wasn't going to miss it for the world, meaning he retired.

Beaton decided to come back this winter to try and win one more Grey Cup ring. He already has one for Layla from 2003 and wants one for Sam.

Of course, like almost everything, there are no guarantees in football.

There is a small chance Beaton could return next year - and the blockbuster trade this month that brought Dan Comiskey and Troy Davis to the Green and Gold has had an influence.

"I will say the last two weeks have been really fun for me," said Beaton, who is very close friends with Comiskey.

"To have Dan back, to have a run game, to be running the same offence we were running a couple of years ago when we were getting 100 yards on the ground...it makes my job a lot more fun.

"It makes it a lot more physical, lot more aggressive and a lot more emotional.

"I can't tell you how not fun it is to pass the ball 45 times a game," he continued, referring to the one-dimensional offence from earlier this season.

COMISKEY INFLUENCE

Before Comiskey and Davis arrived in town, Beaton was 100% positive he was retiring this fall.

And his good friend is trying to sway the odds the other way a little more almost every time he walks in the dressing room door.

"Now I got Dan bugging me every day to come back and play another year," explained Beaton.

Added Comiskey: "He's a guy you never want to let go of because we play well together and he adds so much to the offensive line."

Comiskey's arrival and constant pestering does have Beaton beginning to contemplate an MRI on his knees and asking if another surgery could produce more flexibility.

But just moments after talking about doctors and referring to the possibility of a seventh operation, Beaton finished a long chat at his locker stall with the same message he started with: coming back next season "probably isn't a consideration."


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