Morning man

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

At least something is going right for Kevin Lefsrud this weekend.

While he is battling a nagging elbow injury and experimenting with anti-inflammatory drugs so he can play in Thursday's regular-season opener, the Edmonton Eskimos right guard is thankful that team practice time has changed.

Unlike the past two seasons - when the Esks practiced in the afternoon - the club will now practice in the morning.

The decision was announced yesterday, with the change happening today.

On the surface, it doesn't seem like a big deal to switch to a schedule of 9 a.m. meetings and 10:30 a.m. practice.

But if the switch to a morning routine hadn't happened, Lefsrud probably would have quit the team.

"It kind of had to be that way for me," said Lefsrud.

The seven-year CFL veteran needed the switch because he is balancing another job: working on the family farm near Viking.

"With practice in the afternoon it just cuts your day up. I'd be on the road by 10 a.m. and I wouldn't get back until 7 or 8 p.m.," he said, recalling the old schedule of 12:30 p.m. media interviews, 1:30 p.m. meetings and 3:30 p.m. practices.

"This way it is still the same amount of time, but it is at either end of the spectrum, it is not right in the middle.

"And so I can get two things done (football and farming) instead of one."

On the new schedule, he could be home between 2:30-3 p.m. to help his father and hired help on the farm.

To no surprise, the biggest benefit will come in the fall.

"Mainly what it is for is for harvest. Most of the time you don't get harvesting until noon or 1 p.m.," said Lefsrud.

"So, I would really be missing only two hours of work and then you go to midnight.

"Your window is in the afternoon come harvest.

"And that is what I needed to be around for."

The other side benefit is seeing his two young daughters.

"It makes it so you can have a life," continued the 30-year-old. "I understand why people wanted (practices) in the afternoon when we were young and we wanted to party and come in late.

"Now people have their priorities in different places. Guys with families wanted it in the morning."

Lefsrud and his family are farming 3,400 acres this summer.

FINISH LINES: With so many veterans wanting practice time changed to the morning, the team didn't even have to vote on the switch. Team leaders put forward the motion at a meeting Friday and it was immediately accepted.


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