If there’s a positive to Linden Gaydosh’s season-ending Achilles injury, it might be this: it’s made him a Ticat for a little while longer.
The club and the defensive tackle have agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in the Black and Gold through 2017 – and prevent him from hitting the free agent market next February. It gives Gaydosh a pay cheque during his lost season and the team some certainty surrounding a Canadian player with some serious upside.
“Especially with a really good football player, it’s a wise investment for our franchise for the future,” said head coach Kent Austin.
Gaydosh was the first overall pick in the 2013 CFL Draft and signed with the Ticats midway through last season after recovering from a serious back injury suffered during a stint with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. He played in 11 games for Hamilton, registering eight tackles.
The 24-year-old tore his Achilles in late April while off-season training and is rehabbing in Calgary while finishing his university degree and is expected to be ready to go for the 2016 campaign. He attended Hamilton’s game against the Stampeders on Friday and watched the team practice on Sunday.
“I get to play football for another couple of years. That was kinda the worry I had when this happened,” Gaydosh said. “I’m happy that they have some faith in me and are willing to bring me back.”
They may play for rival teams but as a former CFL quarterback, Ticat head coach Kent Austin feels terrible about the recent spate of injuries to the league’s pivots.
“It’s awful. I have a lot empathy for them,” Austin said. “Players work really hard to get ready and those guys are good football players and they are good for this league.”
On Saturday, Saskatchewan’s Darian Durant suffered a torn Achilles and is done for the year while Edmonton’s Mike Reilly has a knee injury which will sideline him indefinitely. They follow Montreal’s Jonathon Crompton and Dan LeFevour, who both suffered shoulder injuries last Thursday.
For LeFevour, who played in Hamilton for the last two seasons under Austin, it’s his second season-ending injury in as many years.
“I feel really bad for him. Dan is as quality an individual as you will be around,” Austin said. “He’s as good a human being and cares as much as any football player I’ve ever coached.”
Notes: With three days of practice in Calgary before flying on to Winnipeg for Thursday’s game, the Ticats have flown a number of extra players out to Calgary to take part in the on-field sessions, including offensive tackle Joel Figueroa, defensive end Adrian Tracy, as well as defensive backs Bobby Felder and Donald Washington… among those who did not make the trip: receiver Luke Tasker and running backs C.J. Gable and Nic Grisby. Austin confirmed that all three will miss the game against the Bombers… the Ticats got through Friday’s game without suffering a significant injury. Receiver Andy Fantuz practiced despite taking a big hit against Calgary… one notable absence was defensive end Justin Hickman, who has been excused for personal reasons.