Renegades put brakes on Ilesic's return

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

Hank Ilesic's latest comeback attempt has been put on hold.

The Ottawa Renegades, who signed the 44-year-old punter last week to a practice roster position because of injuries to their kickers, have decided he's not quite ready to play.

While the Renegades placed punter Pat Fleming (hand) and punter/place kicker Matt Kellett (leg) on the injured list yesterday, they were concerned about Ilesic's inconsistency in practice.

He joined Ottawa last week, hoping to make his third comeback since retiring after 1995.

Place kicker Mark Irvin will also do the Renegades' punting tomorrow night against the Montreal Alouettes. Starting quarterback Kerry Joseph will back up Irvin for punting.

If the Renegades do activate Ilesic, they have to pay him for the remainder of the season.

Because of collective bargaining association rules between the Canadian Football League and the CFL Players Association, any player with at least six years experience in the CFL can't have his contract terminated after Sept. 1.

Ilesic has 21 years experience.

The Renegades are keeping an eye on kicker Shaun Suisham, whom they drafted last year out of Bowling Green.

He was cut earlier this week by the Pittsburgh Steelers and is now attempting to catch on with the Dallas Cowboys.

SOWARD NEARS RETURN

After missing three games with a torn rotator cuff, receiver R. Jay Soward is hoping to be back in the Argos' lineup.

He is scheduled to undergo a strength test tomorrow.

Soward last played in the Argos' 34-27 win over Winnipeg on Aug. 1 and scored the game-winning touchdown.

"I feel like I could play now," he said yesterday.

The second-year slotback had only 10 catches for 91 yards this season, but has registered three touchdowns.

In Soward's absence, Michael Palmer and Jean-Frederic Tremblay have alternated taking his starting spot. Tremblay, who has overcome chronic hamstring problems that limited his rookie season last year, has caught six passes for 85 yards in the last two games.

Soward, meanwhile, misses receiver Andre Rison, who was released by the Argos following the Aug. 24 against Calgary. The former NFL All-Pro played in only one game this year and didn't have a catch.

He joined the team in August, 2004, and played in just six games and had 14 catches, but mentored the young receivers.

"He brought an attitude, a charisma, a kind of motivational thing, at least for receivers," Soward said. "Playing with an All-Pro, you can't beat that."

TICATS SIGN PLAYER

Hamilton has signed defensive back Alfonso Roundtree, who has had previous stops in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. He has been in the NFL and NFL Europe the last two years.


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