Right time for Eskimos' Devin Tyler

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:22 AM ET

EDMONTON - He may have spent the past three months doing time, but Devin Tyler certainly hasn’t wasted any of it getting back to work with the Edmonton Eskimos.

The Edmonton Eskimos offensive lineman — fresh off a stint in jail stemming from a fight at a Washington, D.C., nightclub — has been practising with the first team O-line this week in preparation for a possible start at right tackle against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday (7:30 p.m., TSN, 630 CHED).

“Everything’s great, the guys did a great job welcoming me back and helping me out to catch up. I feel welcome,” said Tyler, who started all 11 regular-season games and both playoff games at left tackle since joining the Eskimos a year ago this week. “They wanted to get me back in the rotation and catch me up as fast as possible to see what kind of shape I was in.”

It turns out Tyler made the most of the time he was serving.

“Well, I worked out when I was in there and they actually had a work-release program that I managed to get into where I got a couple hours a day to leave,” Tyler said. “Since that was actually work-related for me, I would go train with my trainer.

“I have a professional trainer who would train me and then I had to report back at a certain time to go back (to jail).”

At the same time, the Eskimos haven’t changed anything schematically since he was here last.

“All the same stuff, so it was easy for me to jump right back in,” said Tyler, who was kept up-to-date with the goings-on of the Eskimos by family members, who have become big fans of the team. “And the stuff that I didn’t understand, I’ve got the other players helping me out.”

Though Tyler will have to get used to playing all the way on the other side of the O-line at right tackle since his replacement, Orrin Thompson, has been having a stellar rookie debut in the CFL.

“It is different, but I’m just doing the extra stuff I can to catch up to get used to it because just to be out there, I’m happy,” Tyler said of switching to the right side, where he played a little as a junior in college, with the Baltimore Ravens and the Roughriders. “So I’m a little familiar with it.”

Otherwise, Tyler is just getting re-familiarized with his freedom.

“It’s all really positive right now just to get another chance and to be here,” said the six-foot-seven, 300-pound Temple product. “Even the difficulty of adjusting to right tackle is a blessing.

“I love feeling the hot sun and being in Edmonton. Everything that I’m experiencing right now and again, it just makes me appreciate it more, you know?

“I was most excited to see the guys, I missed the team.”

And the Eskimos missed having him in the lineup, especially with the injuries they have dealt with over the first five weeks.

“We’ve worked him pretty extensively. It’s an opportunity for us to go into the game pretty solid at that position,” said head coach Kavis Reed. “Especially if we were to add (right guard) Greg (Wojt) back, we would definitely have some guys who were starters at the end of the year last year starting to reshape that offensive line.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

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