It’s been a long month for Riders safety Tyron Brackenridge.
Brackenridge suffered an undisclosed injury early in training camp. Brackenridge has been extremely limited on the field ever since — until this week.
“I can say it’s a great birthday present. (My) birthday was on (Tuesday). It feels good to be out here running around with the fellas,” said Brackenridge.
Whatever the injury was, it was a rare one for Brackenridge. The team’s two pre-season games and the first regular-season game of the year are the first Brackenridge has missed since joining the Riders.
According to Brackenridge, he hasn’t missed any games or practices since his rookie year in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007.
“It was different. Mentally, I was into it. I kept myself in tune,” he said.
“I was still in every meeting. I was out here watching the guys fly around. I kept myself into it mentally.”
Brackenridge could be returning to the lineup at just right time for the Riders. Last week, the defence struggled, mostly with tackling, in a 30-26 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Having to watch that game from the sidelines was not easy for number 41.
“We didn’t perform at our best. Just being a player on the sideline is tough,” he said.
“But, I was mentally into the game. I was there helping out as much as I can … we’ll be better this week.”
The return of Brackenridge not only marks the return of one of the team’s better defensive players, but it also puts some other guys back into spots they’re more comfortable. Most notably is defensive back Macho Harris, who played safety in place of Brackenridge against Winnipeg.
“It helps a little bit. Brack does a great job playing his own his own position. Now that he’s back, we can reverse it or do many different things. It opens a lot of doors for us,” said Harris.
Harris starting at safety was a bit of a curious decision after Keenan MacDougall had taken most of if not all of the reps at safety during training camp after Brackenridge’s injury.
“It was tough, but this is what I get paid to do. This is my job, my job is to come and be ready,” said Harris.
It’s about us
As most teams do, the Riders have adopted a new slogan for this season.
This year, they’re saying “It’s about us.”
“That’s where my mindset is. It’s about us. It doesn’t matter anything that goes (on) off the field. We lose the game, it was on us, we win the game, it was on us,” said head coach Corey Chamblin.
“It’s about us. There’s some unique things within that. But, it’s truly up to us to get this thing where it needs to be.”
The Riders will practice one more time on Friday at Mosaic Stadium. They will then walkthrough Saturday morning ahead of their game Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Argonauts.