Manny Arceneaux was trying to lead from the sideline as the B.C. Lions kicked off the second half of their season at practice, and if their most tenured receiver has his way and follows his medical form he’ll still lead them on the field this year as well.
Though a return is still considered a longshot, the receiver and club have agreed to wait before committing to a surgical procedure to repair a torn ACL in his right knee that would end his participation this season and potentially imperil next year, when he will be a free agent.
Truth be told, there’s enough in the medical file of the 30-year-old to suggest he can beat the odds. In 2013, he suffered a slight ACL tear late in the season, recovering in time for training camp the following year. Arceneaux also defied conventional medical wisdom in 2016 when he fought through ankle and concussion-related issues and played in the team’s last playoff appearance against Calgary.
“I’m a different specimen,” Arceneaux once said about his ability to recover from injury.
“Manny’s healing ability is extra-ordinary,” concurred coach Wally Buono “There may or may not be a non-operative way for him to play.” Arceneaux will confer with club doctors this month once swelling has subsided to determine next steps and whether he could play with a knee brace as he had done in the past.
He’s not playing for the Lions on Friday upon their return to work against the Ottawa Redblacks though, and as the only receiver to post a 100-yard game this season that still represents a major concern.
Fellow import Ricky Collins, who missed the Aug. 18 loss to Toronto with a hamstring issue and had several drops in the setback against Saskatchewan a week later, also did not participate in practice Monday.
That represented a break for newly-acquired free agent signing Anthony Parker, who joined Shaq Johnson getting considerable work in his first practice since signing with the Lions last week, ahead of fellow Canadian Danny Vandervoort.
On defence, Micah Awe received first-team work with Jordan Herdman and Bo Lokombo splitting reps at weak-side linebacker. The club also activated rookie import Ebenezer Ogundeko, who was working on special teams Monday.