July 29, 2008
The Peterson principleEsks hoping Tucker will be up soon
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media
Kamau Peterson isn't trying to speak out of turn.
And the Edmonton Eskimos receiver doesn't know what Jason Tucker is thinking right now.
But in his own mind, Peterson doubts Tucker will play football again.
After watching Tucker fracture two vertebrae in his neck last Friday, Peterson believes this is the end of the line for No. 83's playing career.
"I just don't see him taking that risk (of playing again)," said Peterson.
"I hate to speak out of turn. If I had to guess, if I was a betting man, I would say: 'No, I doubt he would make that attempt (to play again).' "
Roommates on the road and friends off the field, Peterson spoke to Tucker yesterday.
"He sounded upbeat, sounded like himself. He said he wasn't in too much pain," he reported on the conversation.
"He said everything seemed to go well. He seemed optimistic about it."
STILL BACK EAST
Tucker is still in Hamilton recovering from four-hour neck surgery late Saturday night after the injury happened at Ivor Wynne Stadium last week.
At last report, the seven-year Eskimo is waiting for the results of a CT scan to see if his vertebrae are aligned properly.
"If it is positive, then the next step is for him to stand up and walk around a little bit and get him home," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia.
The hope is Tucker can come home by the end of this week.
A CFL all-star, the 32-year-old will not play again this year. It's unclear if he will ever play again.
Tucker hasn't spoken to the media since the injury.
However, Maciocia believes there isn't anything left for the slotback to accomplish on the football field.
"I can tell you right now he is worried about being a husband and a father," said the bench boss. "I can guarantee you that.
"He knows he is a very lucky man, today.
"He is no fool.
"Jason has done it all.
"He had a tremendous career at TCU (Texas Christian University), he played in the NFL, he came to Edmonton and won a couple of Grey Cups.
"There is nothing else for him to do.
"If he chooses to come back and he is healthy enough that he can line up and play a couple of more years, so be it.
"But that is the furthest thing from his mind, I can guarantee you that."
Tucker is a father of four girls.
This marks the second time in 13 months that the Eskimos have had a player suffer a serious neck injury.
Brandon Guillory had a spinal cord contusion last June in Calgary, damaging his C4 and C5 vertebrae.
Tucker fractured his C6 and C7 vertebrae on the collision with Tiger-Cat defensive back Jykine Bradley last Friday.
Guillory made a complete recovery, playing his first regular-season game since his injury in Hamilton four days ago.
While he hasn't spoken to Tucker since the game, his message is simple.
"Just keep the faith (and) stay positive," said Guillory. "Don't believe negative words."