Headaches sideline Esk

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

Stanford Samuels is stapled to the sidelines because he suffered concussions in back-to-back games.

After keeping the news quiet for several days, the Edmonton Eskimo defensive back revealed his medical status yesterday.

Still suffering from concussion symptoms, Samuels hasn't been cleared to play - by the Eskimo training staff - in Sunday's game in Montreal. (11 a.m. MT, TSN/CHED)

So while the Eskimo coaching staff hasn't officially announced Samuels' playing status for Sunday, it appears the defensive halfback is very doubtful.

"I still have headaches right now," said Samuels yesterday afternoon.

The first-year Eskimo stood on the sidelines at practice yesterday, not participating in drills.

After being involved in one drill on Wednesday, he didn't finish that practice.

At the time, it was believed that Samuels was just resting an injured foot.

For weeks Samuels has been hobbling around with a walking cast on one foot because of a turf-toe injury and bone bruise. Missing practices has become normal for the defensive starter, as he recovered in time for the next game.

But that is not the case now.

"It doesn't look good (the chances of playing this week)," continued Samuels.

"It is because of the head. I will be able to play with the foot."

The concussion problems started Sept. 7, in the second quarter of a game against the Calgary Stampeders at Commonwealth Stadium.

At five-foot-10 and 192 pounds, Samuels gave up three inches to Stampeder receiver Ryan Thelwell, but still managed to belt him up high to force an incompletion.

That marked the first concussion - although Samuels played the second half of that game.

The second concussion came last week against Montreal when he tattooed Alouette receiver Ashlan Davis with three minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"In this game (last week) I pretty much tried to stay away from too much contact until the end of the game," said Samuels.

"I guess I couldn't turn down that hit."

But he doesn't regret smacking Davis so hard that the receiver got to his feet and just walked straight to the Als' bench.

"I don't regret that," he remarked. "I regret the placement of my head during the hit."

So, the Edmonton secondary will have to adjust - again - this week.

It's unclear who will replace Samuels - if he's indeed scratched - but Chris Thompson and Joey Thomas are the two candidates for the one starting position.

Thompson has at least played a game in the CFL. But Thomas hasn't touched the field in a real game wearing an Eskimo uniform.

"Joey has done really well (this week in practice)," said defensive co-ordinator Rick Campbell.

"And Chris as well. (Thomas) is a very physical player - along the lines of a Donny Brady type of guy."


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