Emotional loss for Esks

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

TORONTO -- Jim Davis could barely talk.

After innocently rolling over Fred Perry's left leg in the fourth quarter yesterday - snapping Perry's ankle, leaving it hanging sideways - Davis struggled with his emotions.

It was completely understandable to see Davis in such a state considering Perry - an Edmonton Eskimo teammate and star defensive end - is now facing a potentially career-ending injury.

"I don't want to talk about it. It is not a good time," said Davis to Sun Media.

He later broke down in tears.

It was a simple play that led to Perry being shown on the big video screen inside Rogers Centre with his left leg dangling sideways while he was flat on his back waiting for medical help.

With Perry and Davis rushing toward Toronto quarterback Kerry Joseph, Davis fell toward the sidelines from his defensive tackle position and onto Perry, who was charging from his defensive end spot.

It's unclear how nasty the dislocation of the ankle is and whether Perry will need surgery right away.

But the immediate loss to the Eskimos is huge.

"That is a big blow to our team. He's a big part of our defence. A great guy - I love him to death," said starting linebacker Siddeeq Shabazz.

Added safety Jason Goss: "Our heart is out to (Perry), but we have to keep playing ball. That is what he wants us to do."

Traded to Edmonton in the off-season from the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Perry has yet to register a sack this season - but was the Esks' defensive player of the game in the July 10 win against Toronto.

Through four weeks of this regular-season he has eight tackles and one pass knockdown.

But it's his knowledge of the game from eight CFL seasons and his tutoring of rookie players like Tyler Clutts and Montez Murphy that has been just as valuable.

At 33, Perry's career CFL stats are impressive across the board: 290 tackles, 56 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and 32 pass knockdowns.

From the moment the disgusting scene unfolded in front of 28,522 fans at Rogers Centre, speculation started this might be the end of the line for Perry.

But his teammates vehemently deny that will be the case.

"Fred is a tough guy, he will overcome that and he will work harder to be 100%. Actually 110%," said Goss.

But while teammates wait for word on the condition of their beloved teammate, Davis will hope the memory of the play will slowly leave.

"It is pretty tough (to put out of your mind)," sympathized Murphy when asked about Davis.


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