This season has been a roller coaster for Riders defensive back Paul Woldu.
The Regina native received good news in the off season when his best friend, linebacker Shea Emry was traded to the team.
The two were thrilled to be on the same team again, until Woldu was released at the end of the pre-season.
Thanks to some injuries, Woldu is now back in green and white but his friend Emry remains on the injured list and it’s not clear when he will return.
“It’s been interesting. It’s been a lot of adversity for me the last six weeks,” said Woldu.
“That’s a part of it. That’s a part of the game, a part of the business and a part of life.”
Soon after being released, Woldu did get a few phone calls from other teams interested in his services. But those talks never went anywhere.
Ultimately, Woldu’s patience paid off as he’s now back where he wants to be.
“This is home for me. I live and breathe this,” he said.
Woldu feels he’s always been someone who never took his job on the football field for granted. He always appreciated the chance to play professional sports, something few in this world get to do.
That being said, he admits a greater appreciation for the game now that he was forced to take some time away.
“Until you’re really not playing it anymore is when you get a true appreciation for being out there,” he said.
Woldu’s second tour of duty with the Riders has been a different one.
Since breaking into the league with the Montreal Alouettes in 2008 Woldu has always been on the team’s active roster.
Now, he sits on the Riders practice roster.
“I’ve played 115 straight games, seven straight seasons without missing a game or a practice,” he said.
“It’s been tough, but it gives you an appreciation for the game and gives you a different perspective.”
The change has also allowed Woldu to be more of a mentor for some of the players on the team.
“It’s allowed me to see things from a different angle and help the younger guys out.”
A role change that may allow Woldu to stay with the team for the rest of the season.