EDMONTON - For Greg Peach, a defensive player of the week award is little consolation for having to walk around on crutches for the next few weeks.
The Edmonton Eskimos defensive lineman would trade in the honour if it meant being able to get back on the field.
Unfortunately for Peach, a knee injury that requires surgery will keep him out of the lineup for some time.
“It’s bittersweet for sure,” Peach said. “It’s cool, it’s a great honour and I have to give credit to all my teammates. I’m excited about it, but it’s not really any consolation.”
Peach was named the CFL’s defensive player of the week on Tuesday after a four-tackle and two-sack performance against the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday.
However, the product of Eastern Washington injured his right knee in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s victory while recording his second sack of the contest.
He will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a torn meniscus and is expected to be out anywhere from four to nine weeks.
“During that second sack, I just felt it a little bit when I tackled (Henry) Burris,” said Peach. “I got up and it just didn’t feel right. I’ve never hurt my knee before so I didn’t know what a knee injury feels like. I just hobbled off the field and knew that I couldn’t play for the rest of the game.”
Peach was having a strong start to the season, recording seven tackles and three sacks already on the year.
“He’s one of those guys that was the focal point of our defence,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. “He’s a great person, a great teammate and a very good football player.”
Last season, Peach had 28 tackles and four sacks while missing nine games with an ankle injury.
“It’s very frustrating, but that’s the nature of this game,” Peach said. “Crying about it, is not going to do anything for me. I’m just going to stay positive and do the best I can to recover and rehab.
“I just don’t like being out, I’ve done too much of it, I had to do it last year and I don’t want to do it again.”
With Peach out of the lineup, the Eskimos are hoping Joe Sykes will be available to play against the Argonauts.
Sykes missed Saturday’s game against the Stampeders with an ankle injury. He was unable to take part in practice Tuesday and will try to go on Wednesday.
If Sykes is not able to play, then the Eskimos may turn to newly acquired defensive lineman Robert Henderson, who added to the practice roster late last week.
Henderson, 27, a product of Southern Mississippi, was originally selected the 2006 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
He went on to spend time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks before arriving in Edmonton.
“He’s a very good pass rusher,” Reed said. “He’s someone that is very fluid and is very polished as a pass rusher. It will be tough for him, but are coaches are responsible for getting him prepared to do at least the minimal things. We’re not going to ask him to have the entire playbook in his head if he’s called on. We’ll minimize the package for him and rotate Jermaine Reid with him and make sure we’re equally distributing the reps.”
Having most recently played with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL, Henderson is excited about the possibility of making his CFL debut on Friday.
“I want to try and help the team the best way I can,” Henderson said. “That’s what I’m here for. They’ve brought me in not just to sit on the practice squad, but to see if I can help them out. That’s what I’m going to try and do. They’re already on a roll so the best thing I can do, is give them a little bit more help.”