July 31, 2012
'One big ball of bad luck' for Bombers' DouglasHip injury, then torn ligaments keep tackle out
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
Andre Douglas just can’t seem to catch a break.
After missing the bulk of training camp and the first four weeks of the season with a hip injury, Douglas tore ligaments in his left ankle during a workout last week that will force him to go under the knife for season-ending surgery on Aug. 13.
“I was trying to go for an extra hit to finish a block and I stepped on an ankle and my ankle gave out,” said Douglas. “My ligament comes out of place, it flaps around and has to be reattached. None of this is recurring. It’s all just one big ball of bad luck right now.
“I’m going to have surgery. I did some research and you’re going to have to have surgery or it’s going to keep happening to you. This is what’s dealt to me now, I’m going to handle it and come back stronger.”
Douglas hoped to latch on with an NFL club during the off-season, but ended up re-signing with the Blue Bombers and was going to be moved over from left to right tackle but his season never really got going.
“For me, it’s very frustrating,” said Douglas. “I worked very hard in the off-season and came in the best shape I’ve ever been in. It’s unfortunate.”
The loss of Douglas means the Blue Bombers know what they’ll be have going forward — there’s no more wondering when or if the veteran might return to either claim or push for the starting job currently held by Jordan Taormina, who is set to start for a sixth consecutive week.
If you thought Taormina might be breathing a sigh of relief with the news Douglas was out of the picture, you’d be wrong.
Taormina recognizes while that he’s showing improvement to date, he still has some areas of his game he needs to clean up in order to keep a firm grip on the starting job.
“Even if Andre was back, I would take the same approach, (try to) get better each week,” said Taormina. “All I can do is basically hold down that spot and do everything in my power to keep it. Some might call it potential, I definitely want to continue to work on my craft.”
Fellow tackle Glenn January has seen the progression in Taormina’s game as well.
“You just have to stick with your technique and work hard, never settle, that’s the best piece of advice I can give to any young lineman,” said January. “You definitely have to take advantage of every opportunity you have in this business.
“He’s a big, strong guy and he can move at a heavy weight. He has the confidence you need to play at this level.”
Blue Bombers offensive line coach Pat Delmonaco believes the unit as a whole is moving in the right direction.
“Were not where we want to be, it’s a slow process,” said Delmonaco. “A little bit slower, to tell you the truth, than I’d like it to be. I thought we could be a little further along than we ware but we’re getting better every week.
“The biggest thing with my group right now is that when we make a mistake, it’s colossal. We don’t have the subtle mistake. We make the full boar and we blow it all. We’ve cut that down from Week 1 to Week 5 to about two a game now, where we had six in that first week.”