'Gades forced to tackle roster

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 2:02 PM ET

The Renegades will likely have to make their most significant roster overhaul yet before next Friday's game in Regina.

Consider:

- Veteran kicker Matt Kellett is unsure how his right groin injury will react to the next few days of rest and treatment.

"I won't know until I kick a ball, and I probably won't do that until I absolutely have to," said Kellett, who tweaked the groin in practice three days ago, then had to declare he couldn't play during the pre-game warmup of Friday's 29-21 loss to Edmonton.

Expect the 'Gades to sign Gloucester's Mark Irvin, a former Mount Allison kicker who attended Calgary's camp. They would bring Bjorn Nittmo back, but they'll need the import spot for an offensive lineman.

- Mike Sutherland, who started at centre against the Esks while George Hudson replaced the injured Obby Khan at right tackle, broke a bone in his right hand about a centimetre or two from the break that sidelined him for the first two weeks of the season.

"It happened about five or six plays before (halftime) but I'm not sure how," said Sutherland, who could miss up to four weeks if surgery is needed to insert a third pin into the hand. "I knew my hand was hurting, and it was the same finger. It felt kind of crooked. I just thought it was dislocated and we'd take care of it at the half. Then we had it x-rayed and it showed the break."

While import tackle Reggie Nelson could return for next week, Khan is doubtful. Paopao said the Renegades are looking at adding two Americans, a tackle and a guard.

- Middle linebacker Keaton Cromartie went down with a knee injury and will definitely miss next week's game, if not more. The Renegades are likely to make a trade to fill that void.

- Running back Josh Ranek suffered a bone bruise near his knee and didn't finish the game, as the coaching staff opted on the side of caution and gave Ka'Ron Coleman some playing time.

"I felt by the fourth quarter that I had enough of the strength back (in the knee) and that I could have played, but the coaches make the decisions," said Ranek. Asked if he was bitter about not re-entering the game, he looked straight ahead and added: "I respect the coaches and the decisions they make."

Meanwhile, Paopao said that upon review of the game tape, the defence could have been better on "three or four" of the 47 plays it had, but also that Greg Marshall's crew "played good enough to win."

As for the offence, he added: "Once we got going, we were able to move the ball between the 20s, but we couldn't finish."

Where the Renegades blew the game was on special-teams coverage, however. Edmonton's Tony Tompkins had 205 yards on eight punt returns, including a 96-yarder for a touchdown.

While replays showed the Esks got away with at least one flagrant clip on that dash, a more curious flag fact was that nary a single holding penalty was called all game.

The Renegades, however, weren't using poor officiating as an excuse for the loss.

"We just weren't covering well," said special-teams captain Jason Kralt. "We had two blocked punts two games ago, so we worked hard on our protection and didn't worry as much about coverage. It came back to bite us in the derriere (Friday)."


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