Koch's injury the real thing

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:41 PM ET

EDMONTON - For the second time this year, the Edmonton Eskimos have lost a starting centre to season-ending injury.

Kyle Koch hurt his knee in Monday’s 17-1 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, joining fellow centre and roommate Aaron Fiacconi on the sidelines.

“Me and Fee are starting to think our house is jinxed or something,” Koch joked. “I don’t know if there’s something in the water over there, I don’t know what to tell you.”

In Week 7, Koch replaced Fiacconi, whose season ended with surgery to repair his rotator cuff. On Monday, Koch was the one being replaced.

On a successful third-and-one in the opening quarter, the Eskimos offensive line pushed the pile, but Koch found himself at the bottom of it.

“Someone fell on my knee. I knew there was something wrong, so I didn’t even really try to get up because I knew it wasn’t going to work,” said Koch. “It’s frustrating if for no other reason than it seems like such a stupid injury.

“You’re not battling some guy and some muscle blows out on you. It’s something that’s — not ‘preventable’ — but as an offensive lineman you’re always worried about moving your feet.”

Fiacconi, who has fought through knee injuries of his own, accompanied Koch as he was hauled into the dressing room.

“He’s gone through it, so it’s actually kind of eerie how accurate his assessment was,” Koch said. “It was nice having someone there who knew exactly what was going on because I’ve never had an ankle or a knee (injury) — nothing to compare it to.”

It is the first time in Koch’s five-year career that he is expected to miss more than one game due to injury.

“It’s four weeks,” Koch said. “It’s not completely out of the realm that this thing heals. It’s a pretty serious injury, the percentages are pretty small but they’re still percentages.

“You’ve just got to rehab as best you can and see what happens.”

The Eskimos season officially got longer following Monday’s win, which secured the team a playoff spot, but they are not counting on Koch returning.

“Right now, we feel that it is season-ending and we’ve made plans to move forward without Kyle,” said head coach Kavis Reed. “Both of those guys were doing a very good job for us and it’s unusual to lose two starting centres in one season. But that’s kind of athe luck that we’ve been having this year.

“It’s an opportunity for Gord Hinse to actually play football. He’s been in the system for a number of years and hopefully he will take advantage.”

ALONG FOR THE RIDE: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Two days after seeing his West Division playoff hopes dwindle in a loss to the Eskimos, Roughriders running back Hugh Charles found himself in Green and Gold.

The ‘Riders traded the import player to Edmonton Wednesday for a conditional selection in the 2014 draft.

“He’s an explosive back with big-play potential and will be an ideal complement to Jerome Messam and Calvin McCarty,” Reed said

With the CFL’s trade deadline looming, the Eskimos made some room on their practice roster by releasing WR Earl Alexander, DL Josh Leonard and DB Tuff Harris.

Of the three, Harris was the only one to play in a game, a Week 12 win in Hamilton.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

@SunModdejonge


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