Pearson hopeful of resuscitating career

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

Mike Pearson probably could not have asked for more out of a football career as the calendar turned into October of 2004.

Pearson was chosen in the second round of the 2002 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and had settled nicely into what had the makings of a long tenure in his home state. A native of Tampa, Fla., Pearson played in all 32 games in his first two NFL seasons for Jacksonville and was a starter in each but the initial five.

When the Jaguars met the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 3, 2004, the 6-foot-7, 290-pound Pearson started his 31st consecutive game and had been playing well.

But he suffered a serious knee left injury that day against the Colts and has not been the same since.

The Argos yesterday announced the signing of Pearson, who will fight for a spot at left tackle as he tries to resume a once-promising career.

"You have a terrible injury and things come to a screeching halt," Pearson, 26, said.

"I dislocated my knee, tore three ligaments, the cartilege, all the good stuff in there. You can either pick up the pieces and move on or sit around and sulk and feel sorry for yourself.

"It has been a long recovery and hopefully I can come up here and play well and show people I still have a little bit of football left in me."

The Argos made three roster cuts yesterday, including 26-year-old defensive back Toby Atawo, a native of Toronto who attended Vaughan Secondary before going to college in the U.S.

Also released were import defensive linemen Corey Jackson and defensive tackle Darrell Lee.

Married with a son who is a mere six weeks old, Pearson was healthy enough to play in four games in 2005 for the Jaguars before he was released.

Last season, he was property of the Miami Dolphins and the Houston Texans but did not play in a game for either club.

The Argos have no issues with Pearson's health, and are confident his knee can take the rigours of training camp.

Whether Pearson can parlay his opportunity into a job will be played out in the next couple of weeks.

"Some teams have stayed away from him for whatever reason, and the knee is a part of that, but physically he is ready to go," Argos coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons said, and then added with tongue in cheek, "he is a little small, so we are concerned about that. We are trying to put him on a stretch machine we have."


Photos