Now Dalton's out!

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

REGINA -- The injury news has gone from bad to worse for the Edmonton Eskimos.

In a shocking move announced yesterday, the Green and Gold has lost Antico Dalton until at least late October - if not the entire season - because of a back injury.

The club has placed the valuable role player on the nine-game injured list.

"It is unbelievable," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia. "I am just standing out there late (Thursday) and I find out that we are going to have to nine-game him.

"He doesn't have much push right now in his legs. He feels like there is a lack of balance there.

"We ran a battery of tests and we think that spinal cord has been compressed.

"There is probably going to have to be surgery.

"We don't know. It is another one of our top players we have had to nine game."

By being on that list, Dalton's salary doesn't count toward the salary cap.

But Edmonton has lost a player that can fill in at linebacker, defensive end and safety - plus be a special teams starter.

If he somehow returns to health by the end of his stay on the injury list, he will be able to play the final two games of the regular season.

But at the moment, the Esks are just trying to find somebody to replace the third-year veteran import.

It's a good thing NFL teams will be making cuts soon.

"Clearly we have got some players we are keeping an eye on," continued Maciocia, who has scouts covering nearly every NFL camp.

The most amazing part of the Dalton injury is the fact it happened in Week 2. But the Esks don't know how the injury happened.

"It is the biggest mystery going," said Maciocia on when the injury occurred. "I found out maybe a month after - clearly Antico thought it was just something he could play his way through."

FINISH LINES: Defensive end Stevie Baggs will be a healthy scratch tonight.


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