Sam Scott’s worldly possessions are currently sitting in a U-Haul trailer in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ parking lot.
After two seasons with the club, the defensive end was among the team’s final roster cuts and so he spent the weekend getting ready for the long, lonely drive back home to Delaware. But early Monday morning he received a surprising wakeup call: There was a spot on the roster for him after all.
“It’s a crazy situation but I think it’s about being ready for whatever comes your way,” Scott said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity — I love these guys.”
Scott’s second chance comes at the expense of starting defensive end Eric Norwood, who suffered a significant cut on his leg in a household accident late Sunday night. The wound required stitches to close and the team placed him on the six-game injured list early Monday morning.
Norwood is just the latest in a string of injuries that have wreaked havoc to the Ticats roster this spring, a list that includes leading receiver Luke Tasker, running back C.J. Gable, starting halfback Rico Murray — all are on the one-game injured list — as well defensive tackle Brian Bulcke, who’s gone for the year.
Though typically stoic about injuries and a purveyor of the next-man-up philosophy, head coach Kent Austin admitted to feeling a little are-you-kidding-me creeping in when Norwood went down
“I may have said that once or twice and then tried to laugh about it and move on,” Austin said. “I don’t believe in being snake bit. Welcome to the game of life.”
Scott, who has played in nine games over two seasons, is popular with both the coaching staff and the locker room, a versatile player who can line up both inside or off the edge.
“We’re really grateful and fortunate that Sam wanted to come back and be a part of it. We have a lot of trust and faith in Sam,” Austin said. “He’ll do a good job.”
He’d better. With Norwood out and fellow defensive end Adrian Tracy on the one-game injured list — Tracy had four sacks in the pre-season — Scott was taking first team reps on Monday and will likely start in Friday’s season opener in Calgary.
Despite the emotional turn of events, Scott says there are no hard feelings toward the team that released him then brought him back less than 48 hours later. He’s already called his landlord to try and get the apartment unit he had lined up — then had to cancel — back online so he get his stuff out of the U-Haul. He’s hoping to stick around a bit longer.
“I understand it’s a business and they did what they thought they had to do,” he said. “I appreciate getting another opportunity and I don’t plan on letting them down.”
Notes: Bakari Grant didn’t practice on Monday but Austin said he expects the veteran receiver to be in the lineup on Friday… There was more positive news on the injury front: receivers Terrell Sinkfield, Terence Tolliver and defensive back Johnny Sears all practiced on Monday…. With both receiver Luke Tasker and linebacker Kyle Miller hurt, look for Canadian receiver Matt Coates to hold for kicker Justin Medlock on field goals… The online gambling site Bodog has released their pre-season Grey Cup odds, with the Ticats coming in at 13-to-2, behind Calgary (13-to-4), Saskatchewan (5-to-1), Edmonton (11-to2) and B.C (6-to1).