Hill's season with Esks may not be over

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:25 AM ET

EDMONTON - He has been placed on the nine-game injured list, but T.J. Hill isn’t about to call it a season just yet.

The Edmonton Eskimos linebacker has been sidelined since the Labour Day rematch with nerve damage in his neck and shoulder.

“Nerves are very funny,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. “They regenerate at their own pace, they respond at their own pace and you can’t do anything medically to expedite that.

“For us, it’s more about T.J.’s health moving forward and his career.”

And, perhaps, his season.

Each team is given one exemption in each half of the league schedule to reactivate a player from the nine-game.

“When we got the diagnosis, it was one of those things where it could have been a very serious situation. So we felt dealing with nerves, we did not want to take a chance,” Reed said. “We went ahead and put him on the nine-game with the expectation that he was done for the season. And if, best case, he was able to come back later we would have the exemption at our disposal.

Prior to this stretch, the fifth-year veteran hadn’t missed a single game due to injury since coming to the CFL.

“I’m getting better each and every day,” he said. “I already know I’m going to be out there, it’s just a matter of time.”

Placing Hill on the nine-game also buys some time for the Eskimos to deal with salary cap issues after re-signing linebacker Mark Restelli.

“The business side of it, I can’t control that,” said Hill. “If I really had to play, I can, to be honest with you, but I won’t be 100%.”

Hill travelled to Hamilton to provide leadership from the sidelines in last Friday’s win.

“That just shows the group of guys we have,” he said. “The coaching staff surrounded ourselves so that if someone does go down, we have someone that can step up.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

@SUNModdejonge


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