Restrictions on Odell Willis lifted by Roughriders
He's still in the dog house, but Odell Willis' Roughrider-imposed probationary period is over.
The Roughriders imposed the restrictions on Willis after he was charged with driving under the influence over the off-season in Georgia.
Willis was dropped to number two on the depth chart for defensive ends. He wasn't allowed to play in the team's pre-season game in B.C., among other punishments.
All of that became a thing of the past when Willis was seen playing with the first team defense Friday morning.
"It looks like it's over man," said Willis. "I'm just thankful to be here and be blessed to do the thing that I love, and that's rush quarterbacks and play football."
Willis also said that he understands why the team put the restrictions on him.
Head Coach Corey Chamblin said that Willis is now back at the top of the depth chart, but he still has to show that he should stay there.
The timing isn't all that surprising after the team struggled at getting pressure on B.C. Lions quarterbacks Wednesday night.
With Willis' punishment basically over, his energy level appears to have been taken to a whole new level too. Willis was very vocal throughout the workout, more so than usual.
"He's like man, we need more energy out here," said Chamblin. "I told him, that's why we brought you in. He got it started, and it lit the fire."
On his end, Willis says he does it to fire up not only his defensive teammates, but the offensive line as well.
"Because, I mean, they're going to get the same thing in the game, players going to be chirping and talking," said Willis.
"If you get in their head andoff their game, they're done. So if I can do it in practice, and if they can do it in practice, the game is going to be easy for them."
- Offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld missed this mornings workout. It's not known yet what's keeping him out.
- Offensive lineman Brendan LaBatte started practice but was later seen on the sidelines with icing his Achilles tendon. Chamblin said they're still just being cautious with the injury adding there's no tear or fracture.
- Defensive back Macho Harris returned to practice Friday after missing most of camp to date with a hamstring injury.
- The Riders are back on the field at the University of Regina at 3:30 p.m. Friday. They also will hold two practices, along with their annual general meeting on Saturday.
Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.