Lawrence Gordon has some added incentive to get healthy.
The Edmonton Eskimos defensive back was back at practice for the first time since injuring his elbow three weeks ago in a loss to the Montreal Alouettes.
And if he can get back to game form in time for Friday’s rematch with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Gordon could make his first return to the field where he spent the past four seasons.
“It would be a wonderful feeling, that’s what I’ve been looking forward to,” said Gordon. “There’s a slight chance, haven’t got confirmation on it right now.
“The elbow’s coming along. It still needs to progress a little bit, but nevertheless I’m optimistic about it.”
Gordon signed with the Eskimos as a free agent in March after spending the first four years of his CFL career in Hamilton.
“I would love to be out there playing against those guys,” said Gordon. “I’m (close with) almost all those guys. I was really a locker-room guy. Each one of them had an individual type of brotherhood with me and I have a lot of friendships.”
Gordon was on the one-game injured list and didn’t play in last Sunday’s game against the Ticats at Commonwealth Stadium. “I was at the game, it was kind of nice. At the end of the day we got that sweet victory and of course I’m with the Edmonton Eskimos right now and I wanted that victory for us.”
The Eskimos improved to 4-9 on the season with a 37-35 win.
“I’m glad the guys went out, they played hard and we got the victory,” said Gordon. “Now it’s back-to-back and we just have to go out and we have to be even more aggressive this week. They’re definitely going to come back with some aggression and some will to beat us this time.”
NO RUSH: With CFL defensive player of the week Rod Davis playing the way he has been lately, the Eskimos are in no hurry to rush linebacker Mark Restelli back into a starting role.
Restelli was a healthy scratch last week after coming off the nine-game injured list from a knee injury early in the season.
“There’s always room for good football players,” said Eskimos linebackers coach Mark Nelson. “I’m an old special-teams guy, so you play special teams and you work your way back in. I wasn’t here so I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know how good Mark is. I’ve been told he’s very good. We did some drills after practice, I saw a lot of things I can’t coach. I like that.
“So we wait. The most important thing is we’re starting our playoff run and there’s lots of football left. We’re not going to bring a guy back too fast because the worst thing that could happen to Mark is you bring him back and he goes out and he twinges something and then he’s gone for the rest of the year.
“Let’s make sure he’s 100% ready to go and then let him come and help us.”
Just how he will help isn’t up to Nelson to decide.
“That’s why coach Hall gets to make all the tough decisions,” he said.