Jason Arakgi (45) continues to get package work as a linebacker, but nobody is going to unseat Cauchy Muamba (3) at safety from being one of the required seven Canadian starters on opening night for the Lions.
One of the shortcomings with the Lions in recent years has been addressed this year at raining camp, and the next few days will require Mike Benevides to determine quality over quantity when it comes to non-import depth.
The last full day of training camp practice Tuesday in Kamloops began with 29 Canucks on the roster attending a sponsor luncheon, and those who know their ratio rules know that only 20 will get spots on the 46-man roster.
There are injury issues on the offensive line of course, which means it doesn’t require a math grad to understand that some non-imports will be kept around until the status of Dean Valli and Jon Hameister-Ries is re-established.
Juniors Steve Doege and Jordan Yantz will have their amateur status preserved, with Yantz to be sent back to the Vancouver Island Raiders at least better for the experience of hanging at a pro camp, even if he was largely a non-participant the last 17 days.
Still, there are some interesting questions to be resolved before the club sets its roster at the end of the week.
There’s the stay-in-school decision to be made by Matt Norman. There’s a call to be made whether the Lions can keep five Canadian running backs, with spots assured for Andrew Harris, Stu Foord and Rolly Lumbala.
And based on his work at training camp, the Lions will also have to find some kind of roster spot for receiver Keith Godding (Bishop’s), whom the club believes can eventually be developed.
Outside of Godding, the coach saw all this coming.
“I saw that early on and if you want to use that term, there’s too many,” said Benevides.
The Canadian starters are pretty much set and aren’t any different than what was projected prior to camp, which means prime-time roles for James Yurichuk and Cauchy Muamba on defence.
If there’s any issue among Canadians, it’s with long-snapper Sean Ortiz. But don’t think for a second that the Thursday game in Edmonton doesn’t carry any weight when it comes to determining the Lions’ non-import depth, which may not still be on par with the Stamps but is a nice problem for a team which only a few months ago had to resort to pulling Ryan Thelwell and Neil McKinlay out of retirement.