Devastated Landry leaves Als

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Ezra Landry only wishes his main concern was the $1.35 a litre Montreal motorists have had to pay for gas this week.

The diminutive Als return specialist has much bigger worries than that.

Landry will not be on the roster tonight, as he has left the team to join his parents in Texas. The Landrys have relatives who are missing in New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina is suspected to have destroyed Ezra's barber shop and house as well as claimed thousands of lives.

"He's very upset ... he has lost his business, his home, everything ... and his parents have lost everything," said Als running back Robert Edwards, who will drop back with brother Terrence to handle the return duties for Landry in tonight's game against the Renegades. "It's a rebuilding stage for him."

"From a personal note, a lot of us feel for him," said Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo. "He does have a lot of family there he hasn't been able to locate.

"Football-wise, I really don't care about him not being here. I'm more concerned with his mental state, about him being okay emotionally."

TENSE TIME FOR ANDERSON

Lucky, in a sense, is Als receiver Thyron Anderson. A 1,147-yards gainer last season, he'll be making his 2005 CFL debut tonight after being cut by the New Orleans Saints last week.

Anderson admitted to a scary 15-minute drive along an interstate with his tank on 'E' and, because of gas stations having shut down, no where to fill up.

"They estimated the time (Katrina) would hit and they were telling people to evacuate," said the 26-year-old, who hails from nearby Jonesboro, La. "Some were still there.

"Four times before they were telling people to evacuate, and it wasn't bad." Als and Renegades players alike are from the disaster area and have gone through an extremely tough week.

GAME GOOD THERAPY

Montreal coach Don Matthews, who hopes the game might prove to be good therapy for them, remembers the last time the world was rocked before he was to step on a football field.

"I was on an airplane en route to my last college game, against Arizona State," said Matthews, who played at the University of Idaho, where he was roommates with (and the starting middle linebacker before) former Rough Rider great Gerry "Soupy" Campbell. "When we landed we found out that Kennedy had been assassinated. That's a parallel, I guess."

EXTRA POINTS: Renegades special teams captain Jason Kralt expects the Als to try and rush rookie punter Mark Irvin tonight. "Montreal is going to come," said Kralt. "This will be Mark's first time punting (in the CFL) and we've got to give him all the help and time we can." ... Tonight's game will mark the 500th of referee Jake Ireland's career ... Phillip Gauthier, a rookie DB who is from Gatineau, was a late scratch by the Als yesterday because of a knee injury ... Asked how much longer he plans to coach, Matthews replied: "It's not a lot longer. I've got to have a year or two (out of football) before looking at the roots. I want to keep looking at the green part of the grass."


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