Knee injury costs Esks' Williams

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:09 PM ET

EDMONTON - More than a few football players have vocalized the reality that they are one play away from a career-ending injury.

Lenny Williams became living proof that an injury can at least put a career on hold.

Williams was one of four players released by the Edmonton Eskimos Monday.

A day after the CFL Draft, Reggie Hunt, Shaun Richardson and Xzavie Jackson were also given their walking papers.

Unlike the other trio, who were unlikely to become front-line players, Williams’s story has a tinge of tragedy.

He’s been one of the steadier performers in the Eskimos’ secondary in the three seasons since he joined the team.

When he hurt his knee in a Sept. 26 game against Saskatchewan at Commonwealth Stadium, his season ended when he was placed on the nine-game injured list.

A physical last week revealed his knee had not recovered sufficiently to allow him to attend this year’s training camp.

In 10 games last season, Williams recorded 36 tackles, two knockdowns and one tackle for a loss.

Will he be missed?

“Absolutely,” said Esks GM Danny Maciocia. “He was somebody we trusted for that long. He was a character player.

“He worked real hard at trying to come back through his serious rehab period.”

Jackson may best be remembered for the notoriety he got after he grabbed a shovel from an adjacent construction site and went after teammate Aaron Fiacconi during a team practise.

“That didn’t factor into the decision,” said Maciocia about the incident.

Apparently, it was more a case that Jackson was unable to become a regular that dug a hole and buried his career.

Hunt joined the team in September as an injury replacement and like Jackson, Richardson was on and off the practise roster.

Maciocia and the Eskimos staff continue to assess their situation and are not done trimming yet.

“We’re still a little over,” Maciocia said. “We were way over.”

The team has to be down to 68 players and draft choices when their training camp starts June 6.

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


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