After injuring his leg several weeks ago, Curtis Steele was worried the rest of his season would be in jeopardy.
He has history that supported that worry. Last year as a Toronto Argonaut he was injured in the pre-season and had a setback just before he was ready to come back. He didn’t come back to the boatmen until October.
Fortunately this time his recovery went well – taking just the six weeks he was slated on the six-game injury list – and he’s expected to be in the lineup on Sunday against Edmonton.
The injury didn’t come without some frustrations, however.
“I came here knowing last year, that’s the thing that kind of set me back was the injury. And I come in and have a good first couple games and then I get hurt, I just thought I was going back down the same road as last year,” Steele said after practice on Wednesday. “I’m anxious to get back out there.”
Equally as anxious to have Steele back is Darian Durant, who said it will be a huge boost for the offence to have him in the lineup.
“First and foremost he’s excellent at protection, he’s a hard runner, hard worker and he’s a vet at the CFL game, there’s no look that can throw him off, so it’s just going to be good to have that veteran presence back,” he said.
Head coach Chris Jones also said he’s hoping Steele will help keeping Durant protected.
“I hope that he helps in the protection so that Darian feels comfortable and then second if we have rushing yards that’s great because that puts Darian in a more manageable second down situation,” Jones said.
The Roughriders run game has been pretty anemic overall this season. In fact, it’s Durant that’s the team’s leading rusher, but Jones said that isn’t just the running back’s fault.
“I think number one we’ve got to remove the line of scrimmage a little better, got to handle the people on the other side a little bit better with our offensive front and secondly, our running backs have to hit the hole when it’s there and almost thirdly, is the fact that we’ve been behind a lot so it made us have to put the ball in the air,” Jones explained.
For his part, Steele hopes he can change all that with his veteran leadership and his knowledge from studying film.
“I know what’s coming before it comes,” Steel said. “And I know quarterback appreciate that a lot coming from a running back.”
“I’m going to do as much as I possible can to help out.”
- Roughrider star receiver Naaman Roosevelt did not practice Wednesday. Chris Jones says he’s having his injury assessed today after taking a big hit in the Banjo Bowl.
- Defensive end Eric Norwood participated in practice. He’s eligible to come off the six-game injury list as early as next week.
- Offensive lineman Jerrial King also began practicing, but there was no sign of Brendon LaBatte or Chris Best.