Andre Talbot summed up what will be his first Canadian Football League game versus the Argonauts in one word.
“It’s going to be surreal to line up against them,” Talbot said on Wednesday on the phone from Edmonton. “But that won’t change my approach. I don’t think it’s possible for me to get any more intense than I already am. I approach every game with a chip on my shoulder and something to prove, so that won’t be anything new.”
Talbot wore the Double Blue before the Argos traded him and fellow receiver Brad Smith to the Eskimos in February in exchange for defensive lineman Eric Taylor. A Toronto native, Talbot spent nine seasons with the Argos, winning a Grey Cup in 2004.
But for periods during the off-season, Talbot seriously pondered the end of his pro football career. An ankle injury wiped out nearly his entire 2009 season and there were times early in the winter when the mental challenge of recovering was overwhelming.
When the trade happened, though, Talbot’s outlook changed.
“There were times when I had it in the back of my mind: ‘Is this it?’ ” Talbot said. “Given the amount of time that it needed to heal, and pushing through the pain.
“But I really embraced the trade and an opportunity to go to a new environment. I just had to be patient with the injury.”
Talbot was asked the other day whether he thought the Argos, at 3-2, were the surprise of the CFL, especially after coming off back-to-back brutal seasons. His answer? No.
“I said I thought that our start (0-4) was the most surprising thing,” Talbot said. “It was not anything that anyone here or across the country could have predicted. It was disturbing, but we never doubted ourselves.”