Canadian OL Philip Blake back practicing with Riders after recovering from torn pec

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

Canadian offensive lineman Philip Blake has returned to practice with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, participating fully with the team on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old was placed on the six-game injured list in June after he underwent surgery for a torn pectoral muscle. He missed the club’s first 12 games of the season but could dress this week when the Riders host the Edmonton Elks. He was a limited participant in practice last week ahead of the Banjo Bowl against Winnipeg.

“We’ll see how (offensive line coach) Anthony Vitale says he did but he’s able to go if he can,” head coach Craig Dickenson told the media. “We’ll see how he looks in practice and make a decision from there.”

Blake signed with the Riders this off-season after playing two seasons for his hometown Toronto Argonauts. He moved from left guard to left tackle for the Boatmen in 2022 after injuries piled up along the offensive line and, despite being an interior blocker for most of his career, excelled at protecting McLeod Bethel-Thompson’s blindside to help Toronto win the Grey Cup.

The six-foot-two, 311-pounder was originally selected in the third round of the 2011 CFL Draft by the Montreal Alouettes but chose to return to Baylor University for his senior NCAA season. The following year, Blake was picked in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.

He spent two years in the NFL as a member of the Broncos and Arizona Cardinals before signing with the Als in 2015. He played 57 games for the team over four seasons before being traded to Saskatchewan in October 2018. The 37-year-old played 11 games over two seasons with the Riders.

Evan Johnson, who missed the Banjo Bowl with a foot injury, practiced fully on Tuesday, as did quarterback Mason Fine.

Anthony Lanier II missed Tuesday’s practice for personal reasons with Dickenson indicating he’s “a little bit” concerned he won’t play this week. The veteran defensive lineman has made 16 tackles and five sacks this season.

The Riders (6-6) are scheduled to host the Edmonton Elks (3-10) on Friday, Sept. 15 with kickoff slated for 9:30 p.m. EDT.