Rainey so mad about potential benching by Lions he could’ve ‘flipped a car over’

If Chris Rainey is in the B.C. Lions lineup this week remains questionable and the running back/returner is frustrated with the decision.

Head coach Wally Buono said the roster for Friday’s matchup with the Ottawa Redblacks isn’t set, but coaches and management are weighing their options.

“We have to look at the ways we can get the most out of our players,” he said after practice on Wednesday. “At this point, we believe wholeheartedly that we can get more out of our return game.”

Rainey is healthy, but did not work with the offence for the first two days of practice this week. He was at training on Wednesday, where Buono said he was “attentive and working hard.”

Any time a player is benched, there’s a reason for it, the coach said.

“Do I expect (Rainey) to be happy? No. Would I like him to be unhappy? Yes,” he said.

Rainey leads the CFL in all-purpose yards, putting up 1,525 so far this year. He tallied 494 receiving yards and 226 rushing yards for the Leos last season and was named to the league’s all-star team in 2016.

The 30-year-old said he was “furious mad” when he heard that he might not play this week.

“I was so mad, I could have flipped a car over,” he said.

The Florida native added that he’s since calmed down and is focusing on being a team player.

“It’s out of my control so, hey, I’ll just go with it,” he said.

This is Rainey’s fourth season with the Lions, following a season with the Montreal Alouettes, and stints with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.

He signed a contract extension in December but will be a free agent at the end of the year. Rainey said he hasn’t talked to his agent this week about finding another place to play, but admits that he was tempted.

B.C. is looking for a win to turn around a lacklustre season that saw the team go 3-6 in the first half.

The team’s ready for the challenge, Rainey said.

“They look great this week. I just wish we looked like this at practice throughout the nine weeks. But, hey, it’s a new half of the season,” he said. “We just got to take advantage of it.”

The Lions are last in the CFL West. The Redblacks lead the CFL East at 6-4.

-CP

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