Oft-injured Samuels sent packing

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

Stanford Samuels may find a roster spot on Team Brittle.

After an injury-riddled 2007 season and a spotty training camp, the Eskimos cut the defensive back they had blared in as a high-profile free agent signing just a year earlier.

Samuels made only 26 appearances over the past two CFL seasons, 12 with Winnipeg in 2006 and 14 with the Esks last year.

The fact Samuels continued to be injury-prone did play a large factor in the team's decision to release the three-year CFL veteran before the first pre-season game of the year.

"When you take a look at it, this year he was nicked up a little bit," said Esks head coach Danny Maciocia. "There comes a point in time on a 42-man roster that we don't have the luxury of keeping 60 or 70 bodies around here. You have to play healthy and there are times when you're nicked up a bit, you have to play some."

BLUNT ASSESSMENT

Maciocia was blunt in his assessment of the situation leading up to the decision.

"If he was hurt and we felt like he was one of the top five or six performers in his position, then we might have kept him," said Maciocia.

There were just too many good young players in camp that had a brighter future, said Maciocia.

"It's a credit to our scouting department," said Maciocia. "They've brought in a lot of talent in here - guys that have stood out here the last week and we want to give them the opportunity to line up and play for us.

"It hasn't been a one-day or two-day thing. Consistently, they've gotten it done. We'll take our chances with them.

"We like the way we're operating in the back end and that's the direction we chose to go in."

The injury situation here is similar to camps around the CFL and so far the Esks have managed to stay away from any long-term ailments.

EVERYONE'S BANGED UP

"If you take a look at every single training camp around the CFL, everybody's nicked up," said Maciocia. "Everybody's got groins and hamstrings. That's to be expected when you're out here three or four hours a day wearing pads.

"Physically, you're getting after one another. Eventually, there's going to be some wear and tear and it's going to take its toll," said Maciocia.


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