Comiskey is kaput

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

How much more can one football team take?

Battered by injuries through the first nine games of the year, the Edmonton Eskimos have now lost offensive line-man Dan Comiskey for the rest of the regular season.

The all-star calibre left guard is now on the nine-game injured list after tearing his tricep in two places and partially tearing a tendon in his right arm during Monday's game in Calgary.

With exactly nine games remaining in the regular season, there is an outside chance Comiskey can return for the playoffs - if the Esks qualify.

"I felt like I was 25 years old (on Labour Day), having a great time and enjoying the game," said Comiskey, who had just returned to the roster after missing five games with a torn left calf muscle.

"It hurts me. It feels like I am letting the team down to some degree, as well."

The club announced Comiskey's injury yesterday, just hours after formally announcing a trade for back-up offensive lineman Aaron Fiacconi from Winnipeg.

Needing a non-import lineman became a necessity with Comiskey on the shelf - but Fiacconi is not going to be able to plug the entire hole by himself.

One by one, the news of Comiskey's injury spread to teammates through the locker-room, with disappointment being the overwhelming sentiment.

"He is the teeth of that line, in my opinion," said receiver Kamau Peterson.

"He comes in and there is a noticeable difference in edge and fire on that line. He is an old-school player. He kind of keeps everybody more aggressive. You look at Dan and you feel like you have to play more aggressive. That is a big loss."

Added starting running back Tyler Ebell: "Wow, that is a big loss.

"He is probably one of the best there is in the league - if not the best."

While there is no official word on who fills Comiskey's spot for tomorrow's Labour Day rematch at Commonwealth Stadium against Calgary (7 p.m., CHED), expect Rhett McLane to start at left guard.

The position isn't foreign to McLane - a traditional backup - because of all the injuries this year. But he didn't play it on Monday, as Comiskey actually finished the game with the damaged wing.

"I was drive blocking somebody across the pile and ran into a bigger group of guys and somehow it just put too much pressure on my tricep," said Comiskey, on the injury in the third quarter on Monday.

In his 11th year in the CFL, the 35-year-old Ontario native has never had to battle through injuries like this - a previously torn calf muscle and now major arm problems - in one year.

But there is no talk of retirement. Surgery is likely on the horizon, but there is no definitive word on when that will happen.

He is just hoping for the playoffs to become a reality.

Just like Kevin Lefsrud and Antico Dalton, who also have long stints remaining on the nine-game injured list.


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