Green adds depth to Esks

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

EDMONTON - If there is safety in numbers, then the Edmonton Eskimos were getting dangerously low.

With their top two free safeties out with injury, the team brought in some insurance Friday, adding former Toronto Argonaut James Green to their practice squad.

“Right now, worst scenario if something were to happen in practice (Friday), when you look around we don’t have anybody else,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall.

“Providing depth, he’s an aggressive player, James Green. He’s just going to help us.”

Green, a Vernon, B.C., native, who was named a Canada West all-star in 2008 while playing with the Calgary Dinos, finished second among Argos special-teams tacklers last season before being released in training camp.

“It’s a fresh start and not many people get a second chance so I’m going to make the most of it,” said Green, who currently resides in Calgary, where he was working construction before receiving a call from Eskimos head scout Ed Hervey on Wednesday.

Got the call

“I had talked to Ed at the combine in 2008, I guess he still liked me. I was working out and just waiting for a call. It’s a great opportunity. I’m just trying to learn what I can and see what I can do here.”

Starting safety Elliott Richardson, who was placed on the nine-game injured list after breaking his wrist in the preseason, is on track to return at the midpoint of the season, but was told earlier this week he wouldn’t be back any sooner.

“It was kind of disappointing. I just found out there’s no chance of me really coming back early,” said the second-year free safey who started 12 games last year in his rookie season.

“It will be difficult to, but I’m still on par to come back after the first nine games are over. I hurt it almost two weeks before the season started and we have the bye week, so it’s a bonus three weeks right there, plus the nine games, plus me being on par for 12 weeks (recuperation).”

In five weeks, Richardson is looking forward to having the pins removed from his wrist, which is currently in a cast.

“They’re kind of like Allen-key-like things sticking out of my arm,” he said.

He got a look at his wrist when the old cast was removed Thursday and replaced with fiberglass.

Flexibility

“I saw the orthopedic surgeon and they took off the whole thing, cleaned it,” said Richardson, who will begin rehabbing his wrist once the pins are removed. “I can do all the running and plyometrics and jumping. I can even do some upper-body stuff with my right arm, I just can do any left-arm stuff.”

Still, he prefers that over a leg injury.

“This is my second serious injury. I hurt my right triceps the year before I came here,” Richardson said. “The bonus of that is you can always keep on running. So when I come back it’s going to be almost like an extended offseason for me.

“I will still be explosive, still be able to run fast. I’ll have a little bit of weakness in my upper body, but if you have a strong lower body, it will more than make up for it.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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