Achilles heals: Riders extend injured LB Larry Dean

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

The Saskatchewan Roughriders didn’t get a chance to see him in Green and White last season, so the Riders have brought back American linebacker Larry Dean for another season.

Dean originally signed with the Roughriders during 2021 free agency, but suffered a highly publicized torn Achilles during post-quarantine field workouts in the lead up to training camp. That caused him to miss the entire 2021 season, though he remained in Saskatchewan throughout the season to support his teammates and to rehabilitate his injury.

Prior to coming to the Riders, Dean spent most of his career with the Tiger-Cats, except 2019 when he suited up for the Edmonton Elks. The six-foot, 226-pound linebacker has played in 72 CFL games over a career that has spanned five seasons and earned 365 defensive tackles, eight special teams tackles, six sacks, three interceptions, 16 pass knockdowns, five forced fumbles and scored a defensive touchdown. He’s also played in five playoff games. 

Dean is a three-time divisional all-star (2017-19), was the East Division’s nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2018 and was Edmonton’s nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2019. 

Collegiately, the Georgia native attended Valdosta State (2007-2010) and ranks second in VSU history with 358 career tackles. In his senior season, he averaged 11.1 tackles per game and was named Daktronics National Defensive Player of the Year, the South Region Defensive Player of the Year, the Gulf South Conference Defensive Player of the Year and The Valdosta Daily Times’ Defensive Player of the Year.