Li'l guy has nice timing

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos' first bye week of the regular season has come at a perfect time for Raleigh Roundtree.

The offensive lineman rushed home to Augusta, Georgia, yesterday to be with his wife Sondra, who is scheduled to have a C-section tomorrow to give birth to their second son.

"She has a condition where she has to have a planned C-section and once the season started I talked to coach Danny Maciocia and he told me it was all right to go home - and it just happened to be the bye week," said Roundtree.

Since the Esks don't play again until July 20, the personable but quiet 6-5, 340-pound guard will be able to spend an entire week at home.

And while some might question Roundtree's interest in coming back to the Eskimos for practice next Sunday - considering he hasn't played a regular-season game this year and has been stashed on injured reserve - he doesn't have any hesitations.

"I have to keep playing football - that is what I do," he said.

"And my wife understands that."

Making Roundtree's situation in Edmonton even more interesting is the fact he doesn't need a CFL paycheque - likely in the neighbourhood of $75,000-$100,000 - to pay any bills. By playing seven years in the NFL, he likely earned $2-$3 million US.

"But it's not about money, it's about the love of the game," said Roundtree.

"I wasn't through playing in my heart and I still wanted to play."

The South Carolina State product missed the majority of the 2003 NFL season after having his spleen removed and didn't play a single down in 2004.

Now Roundtree feels he's ready to contribute in the CFL.

"The speed of the game took me a little while to get used to and there are a lot of adjustments to learn from the NFL," he explained. "But I think I would be ready (to play right now)."


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