Return to Wayne manner

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

A rental property owner and manager away from the football field, Clinton Wayne has returned to the Edmonton Eskimos to help the team manage its injury woes on the defensive line.

Officially signed by the Green and Gold yesterday, Wayne might have to play tomorrow night against the Saskatchewan Roughriders because there are so few healthy defensive tackles in camp.

Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia doesn't have to make that decision until one hour prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff at Commonwealth Stadium - but right now he has injuries piling up.

Starting defensive tackle Jim Davis missed his third straight practice yesterday with an upper body injury, meaning he's very questionable for the game.

That leaves Dario Romero, rookie Joe Anoai and Wayne as the only healthy tackles available.

An Eskimo in 2004 and 2005, Wayne received interest from other CFL teams after being released by Hamilton this season - but Edmonton presented the best option.

"When I got a call back, this is a call you accept," said Wayne, who has rental property in Toronto.

An eight-year CFLer, Wayne also brings critical non-import status with him.

With tackle Adam Braidwood - another non-import - still stuck on the nine-game injured list, Wayne can help the Esks dress another import elsewhere on the roster if he starts on the D-line.

"We think Braidwood should be fine and good to go sometime during the month of September," said Maciocia. "But as a coach I just can't sit back and keep our fingers crossed on whether a guy will be ready in the second week of September, third week or end of September.

"And what happens if there is a setback?"

The acquisition of Wayne - which was first reported in yesterday's Edmonton Sun - also shows the Eskimos have built a large buffer into their $4.2-million salary cap.

Since the regular-season has started, Maciocia has been able to acquire CFL veterans Scott Coe, Airabin Justin and Wayne with no fear of going over the cap.

"I think we have done an outstanding job of managing it," said Maciocia on the cap.

"Right now, even with the so-called surplus of players, as we stand here right now, we are not going to be over the cap."

Maciocia built a larger buffer into the cap this year than last year. While Maciocia won't confirm a number, he admits he did his budget slightly different than last year, leaving extra money available to sign players during this season without eclipsing the cap ceiling.

QUICK HITS: At last report, more than 45,000 tickets have been sold for tomorrow's game at Commonwealth Stadium between the Esks and Riders ... Starting safety Trey Young has officially been scratched from tomorrow's tilt. Spotted wearing a walking cast on his injured ankle, Young will likely be placed on the one-game injured list, which will allow for Airabin Justin to be placed on the 46-man roster. The Esks are hoping Young will be healthy enough to play by Sept. 1.


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