For the second this time this week, the Ticats shortened the day’s activities from the planned four-hour power practice to single two-hour session. The reason, as you might suspect: injuries.
There were a couple more players sitting out on Saturday including offensive tackle Joel Figueroa and kicker Justin Medlock. Head coach Kent Austin said afterward that Medlock’s issue is just fatigue, hardly surprising given that he’s the only kicker in training camp. Figueroa, who has been taking reps as the starting right tackle, will likely be fine in a day or two. Veteran Brian Simmons took the first team reps today.
And that’s the thing with the Ticats’ injury situation: as numerous as they’ve been, there hasn’t anything truly catastrophic and in most cases, the Ticats are deep enough that they’ve been able to replace the injured player with another CFL veteran. Even with the loss of defensive tackles Brian Bulcke and Linden Gaydosh, the Ticats have Hasan Hazime (who was a solid rotational player in 2013) and Mike Atkinson (who was a solid rotational player in 2014) to fill in (with 2014 draft pick Evan Gill on the way.)
The only exception is running back where they’ve lost their top three guys and are now left with Ray Holley and the newly-signed Michael Ford. Nic Grigsby did some field work today and looks close to returning and Gable tweeted recently that he wouldn’t be out the full four weeks (though players are typically very optimistic about their with self-diagnosis.)
A couple of more guys went down during practice, however. Linebacker Larry King tweaked a knee while receiver Deon Anthony look to have injured his hamstring.
• teams across the CFL have to be down from 75 to 65 players (plus non-counters like draft picks) by midnight Sunday. Some of the injured players like offensive lineman Stephane Milhim and running back Mossis Madu will either be released or put on the injured list but there will be some guys going home on Monday.
• despite needing some rest, Medlock was at practice today working with the special team units. He spent some time after practice working with McMaster kicker Mark Milan, who was there doing his own workout. Medlock helped him with alignment, footwork and talked about getting the proper rotation on the ball. Medlock is a technician who not understands the minutiae of kicking but is also articulate enough to communicate those concepts to others. He’s generous with his knowledge, too – and not all kickers are. Milan told me afterward he worked with Medlock a couple of times last season and that he sometimes connects with him on Facebook to ask for advice. It’s just another residual benefit of having the Ticats at Mac.