Know anyone who wants to play o-line for the Lions? Do so at your own risk. You could end up as the next Jon Hameister-Ries (Mark Van Manen-PNG)
So what are we to make of the first week of training camp of the Lions here in Kamloops?
We’ll start with the weather, because nothing can be done about the elements, which have been as unfavourable as anything the team has encountered in six years, the worst of which was Saturday morning. And you must mention the rash of injuries to offensive linemen, which now includes Jon Hameister-Ries, the third to go down with a knee problem Saturday.
Mike Benevides was asked at lunch whether there is any common denominator associated with three knee injuries to the same position group but his answer was along the lines of the response about the weather: Nothing you can do about it, except eliminate contact at the afternoon practice, which is exactly what he did.
Hameister-Ries and Dean Valli went down during drills. Jesse Newman was hurt in non-contact work. It happens. The question is what the Lions are going to do, and for the moment the plan seems to be to do little, according to Wally Buono.
There were a few names being tossed around by important people with the Lions in the wake of the latest injury, but it was only to fashion debate. The problem with importing another Patrick Kabongo is that there a few others like him, an understatement if ever there was one, plus the fact Canadians are often over-priced in this situation, Buono said.
The man in charge was quick to throw out the possibility of starting a third import, which no doubt would thrill the three imports in camp looking to back up Ben Archibald and Jovan Olafioye. But you’re not talking a about an abundance of options on either side of the border. They include, though this is not a complete list if you want to consider retired players, like Rob Murphy and Aaron Fiaccioni: Jason Jimenez, James Patrick and Alexandre Gauthier. In here, too, you also have a few players better suited for tackle than guard.
The best move for now, it appears, is to wait a few days, which is a luxury afforded by the date on the camp calendar, and get a complete evaluation of all three injuries. But try to imagine what happened if the Lions had a week like this one in the middle of the season. Now that would be a week to remember. In the meantime, if you know of a strapping young Canuck eager to get bashed about for a few weeks, give the Lions a call before the end of the night and they can be added to the lineup at the annual rookie show.