Davis taking injury as inspiration

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

BURLINGTON -- Now, it's personal.

After dealing with the emotion of innocently rolling onto Fred Perry's left leg - forcing it to break - during Sunday's game, Edmonton Eskimos defensive tackle Jim Davis can hardly wait for Friday's game in Hamilton.

"Friday - it is going to be real personal to me, for the D-line, for the team as a whole to go out there and play as if Fred wanted us to play," said Davis.

"So, it is going to be a real inspiration for me."

Perry - a star Eskimos defensive end - suffered a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to Toronto when Davis fell into his path to the quarterback.

"I kind of got pushed from the side, tripped and just kind of rolled up on his leg," said Davis.

From there, the Eskimos rookie defensive lineman remembers two harsh things: a scream and the sight of a leg twisted sideways.

"I heard (Perry) scream. I looked to the side and I seen this leg - I didn't even see Fred - I saw the leg first," Davis recalled.

"I got up as fast as I could and tried to get some help over there."

At first, the incident hit Davis like a ton of bricks.

Fighting back tears and emotionally distraught after the game, he thought about blaming himself.

"It was in my head - playing with me for a long time. But I now understand that is how football works," Davis stated.

"When the whole incident happened that kind of shocked me and threw me off. Fred is like a brother. All the D-linemen are like brothers. We are family.

"You don't want to see anybody in your family get hurt, especially by my hands.

"But it was just a football play and we (Perry and I) talked about it and got everything squared away."

Davis and Perry were actually roommates on this nine-day trip to Ontario before Perry flew to Edmonton yesterday to consult with a surgeon.

But before Perry left the Burlington hotel, he calmed the rookie's nerves.

"He said (the injury) wasn't as bad as it looked," Davis explained.

"Of course, I felt kind of bad. He kind of explained to me that is how football works.

"And more importantly, he is going to be back. It is not career-ending."

Added Perry: "(Davis) was kind of choked about it. But like I told him, that is what happens when you play full speed. Football is a contact sport. You got to expect stuff like that to happen."

Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia has also tried to take any blame off Davis's shoulders.

"It is not his fault," said the coach. "He just got pushed and he rolled Fred Perry up."

If there is a silver lining with this injury, it's the fact Davis is going to become a leader on this defence.

"Fred is our leader," said Davis, who has three sacks in four games.

"I told Fred that I am going to do my part to make sure that we take it to the next level."


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