Instead of blowing out candles, Tyler Ebell was dealt a blow to his fledgling career in Double Blue.
The Argos running back was carted off during yesterday's late-morning practice after injuring his left ankle.
An MRI later in the day revealed damage to his Achilles tendon, an injury that could prove devastating to Ebell, who celebrated his 25th birthday.
The full extent of Ebell's setback won't be known until today, when rookie Argos head coach Rich Stubler is expected to comment on the injury.
Ebell was acquired in an off-season trade from the Edmonton Eskimos.
The Argos also acquired receiver T.J. Acree in exchange for starting defensive back Jordan Younger, who has evolved into one of the CFL's best cover corners.
Stubler's intent from the day he took over the coaching duties was to establish a tailback capable of playing the entire season.
Stubler often lists Winnipeg's Charles Roberts as the prototypical back, a durable ball carrier who can also catch out of the backfield.
While it would be foolhardy to predict how long Ebell will be sidelined without an official announcement by the club, on the surface it doesn't appear good.
Next to a blown knee, an Achilles injury to a skilled player is as problematic as they come, often leading to a prolonged period of inactivity.
In some cases, depending on the severity, they can be career-threatening.
Just last week, Stubler was notified by the team's head physician, Dr. Anthony Galea, that a pre-existing foot injury to receiver David Boston may require surgery.
Boston flew to Baltimore, Md., to consult with a foot specialist. The Argos are expected to know by as early as tomorrow whether Boston will be gone for as many as three months or as few as two weeks.
Even though he started 11 games for the Eskimos, there was no guarantee Ebell would be anointed as the primary ball-carrier with the Argos.
Under Stubler, Dominique Dorsey has been given most of the first-team reps, if such a designation can be made this early in training camp.
Stubler saw what Dorsey accomplished in his one and only start last season and wanted to give Dorsey every chance to run with the opportunity this year.
"We need to find someone who can play 18 games,'' Stubler said. "That's my biggest thing.
"I don't want someone playing two games and then being off three games and then coming back for one game."
Dorsey earned a name for himself last season as a dominant special teams player, emerging as the East's nominee for top CFL honours.
"My personality is such that I'll do anything to help the team,'' Dorsey said. "All I'm searching for is a ring.
"I haven't been on a championship team since high school."
From his days in Pop Warner, Dorsey has lined up in the backfield.
"Most of my return style (on special teams) is from being a running back,'' Dorsey, 25, said. "I'm a north-south runner who likes to hit the seams as fast as I can.
"I'm definitely enjoying the fact that I'm getting a shot to play running back."
Dorsey has looked very good in camp, but the Argos had hoped to showcase Dorsey and Ebell in certain formations.