Preseason injuries sideline Esks' players

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:02 AM ET

EDMONTON — There is no room for timidity in training camp.

Anyone worried about finding the fine line between proving their worth and remaining healthy is probably in the wrong business.

After just one week of preseason practices, a dozen Edmonton Eskimos are sidelined with injury heading into Sunday’s exhibition game against the visiting Calgary Stampeders.

“I think if you don’t push yourself 100%, then you’re more susceptible to getting injured,” Hall said. “Everything you want to do is going to be a reaction thing, because a lot of times that people go out and play, when they try not to get hurt, that’s when they do get hurt.

“Then all of a sudden you’re tentative, you’re worrying about what’s going on around you and someone getting hit off the pile or stuff like that. To me, to a degree, you let your guard down versus when you’re playing all out, balls out, then that’s just a natural reaction and what happens happens.”

After all, injuries are inevitable in football.

“I know this might sound negative, but if you’re going to get hurt, you’re going to get hurt,” Hall said. “That’s just in the stars.”

While preseason matches allow coaches a preview of new players’ abilities in game situations, it’s often not worth further aggravating an injury.

“In a perfect world, we would like to play everybody,” Hall said. “If we had to play, a lot of the guys could play but an extra day or two (of rest) will be beneficial for us in the long run and get them ready for the B.C. game (next week).”

Besides, it’s not like there aren’t plenty of able bodies to fill the void, with 73 players currently on the roster.

“One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity,” Hall said. “Without (running back Arkee) Whitlock not playing, it gives someone else an opportunity to get more snaps.”

Although rookie safety Saleem Borhot will miss Sunday’s game due to an undisclosed injury, he said he wouldn’t have changed anything in his inaugural pro football camp.

Letting up, whether it might mean avoiding injury or not, isn’t an option for the 2009 draft pick.

“When they’re evaluating you the way they are and the eye in the sky is on you all the time, you don’t have time or the opportunity to take a play off,” said Borhot. “You really have to take every single play as if it’s your last because, realistically, you’re still trying to make this team, whether you’re a first-round draft pick or an American.

AUDIBLE: With the Stampeders claiming the only functional dressing room at Commonwealth Stadium while renovations are made to the home side’s locker area, Stampeders coach John Hufnagel kindly offered Hall the use of the bathroom at $5 a pop.

“I asked: ‘Is that debit or Visa, or are you going to invoice me?’ ” said Hall, whose squad is headquartered across the parking lot at Clarke Park during the renos.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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