Adam Leonard (44) was on the opening day roster last year for the Lions and seen by some as a possible replacement for good friend Solomon Elimimian, however never got back on the practice field after ACL surgery last year and was released Saturday.
There will be few times this season when a practice Sunday almost comes as a welcome relief so as to sort out the myriad of moves that must be made in setting a 46-man roster, and the Lions were not excluded from the process Saturday.
A few things became clear when the club released six players Friday, but there’s a bit more work before a final list is produced, said Mike Benevides, who indicated two non-import practice roster spots were still up for discussion Saturday morning.
There are, however, a few things that can be passed along, for those of you keeping score at home.
–Five imports have accepted a practice roster spot: WR Ernest Jackson, TB Anthony Stewart, LB Glenn Love, OL Ben Ossai and CB Gerald Lawson. Benevides suggested that the club was happy with the long-snapping Thursday of Tim Cronk and as such will likely ask Sean Ortiz to assume one of the vacancies on the practice roster. Long-snapping was an issue, especially on special teams conversions, in Edmonton. Steven Doege will be on the practice roster if he can make the logistics work of commuting between Kelowna and Surrey.
That means Tim Brown won the job as the import tailback and yes, Byron Parker starts at the wide-side corner. Others making the roster for the first time: DB Joshua Bell, who beat out the previously-departed Jerome Dennis, and WR Courtney Taylor, who won out with Nick Moore over Jackson.
The three non-import offensive linemen who are injured are currently on the one-game injured list, Jon Hameister-Ries could come off Sunday if he is ready to practice and start in Friday’s opener.
–Hugh O’Neill returns to his customary position on the nine-game injured list, but he will not be joined by LB Adam Leonard. The cruel reality for a veteran who could not get on the practice field after last season’s ACL surgery is that the Lions would be responsible for him all year if he is on a roster Sunday, and as such Leonard got some bad news Saturday.