Eric Rogers hasn’t played a football game since September 17, but as the Toronto Argonaut receiver prepares to suit up for the East Final on Sunday, he sees that history is on his side.
“Really you want to play all the games and be feeling pretty good head into playoffs, but every time I missed some games, we found a way to win a Grey Cup,” Rogers joked during his pre-game media availability on Saturday.
The former Calgary Stampeder is referring to a pair of rings he won in Cowtown, the first during his rookie season in 2014 when he played just two regular season games and the second in 2018 when he missed half the year with a knee injury.
Correlation does not equal causation, but the man the head coach Ryan Dinwiddie has dubbed “Mr. Playoffs” much prefers getting healthy in time for the post-season as opposed to the contrary.
“I’d rather have this type of season than I did in 2019, when I played the whole season and I got hurt late and missed the chance to play in the playoffs,” Rogers said. “I’d rather be available for the playoffs, feeling good and helping my team.”
The 30-year-old Rogers is coming off a 2019 season where he hauled in 85 receptions for 1,080 yards and 10 touchdowns on route to being named a West Division all-star with Calgary, but couldn’t suit up in the West Semi-Final against the eventual Grey Cup champion Bombers.
He was traded to Toronto during the long offseason and Rogers started each of Toronto’s first six games this year, making 25 receptions for 346 yards and three touchdowns. At that stage, he was first on his team in touchdown receptions, and second in catches and receiving yards. A hamstring issue has kept him out of the subsequent eight contest, but will be fully healthy for the most important game of the year.
Over the course of his 45-game regular season career in the CFL, Rogers has brought in 217 passes for 3,176 yards and 27 majors. The 6’4, 215-pound pass catcher spent 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers but tore his ACL, ending his NFL dream, but he has returned to being an impact CFL player ever since.