Monday, June 8, 2015
Edmonton Eskimos Lose John White For Season
Edmonton Eskimos general manager Ed Hervey didn’t see the drill that ended up with John White rupturing his left Achilles tendon in Sunday’s training camp. He didn’t have to. What Hervey heard bitterly told him all he needed to know.
“I was 10 yards away. You could hear it. When an Achilles goes — if you’ve been around long enough — you never forget that sound,” said Hervey.
On Monday, the Eskimos announced that their Canadian Football League’s West Division all-star running back is gone for the entire season.
“You’ve heard enough of them to know what it is, but you have to wait for the confirmation,” continued Hervey, who said he was almost hoping White had broken a bone instead of rupturing his Achilles because a broken bone would heal much quicker.
“We waited for confirmation; the rest is pretty much history.”
White’s injury is obviously a huge blow to the Eskimos. The 24-year-old third-year veteran ran for 852 yards on 123 carries for an intoxicating 6.9 yards per carry in just nine games last season.
In one game alone — on Sept. 26 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders — he ran for 192 yards on 17 carries. One run was for 36 yards; another was for 60 yards.
The scary thing is that White’s totals could have been even higher in that game. Three big gains by the elusive tailback were negated by penalties. Had the whistles not blown, White would have rushed for 234 yards, which would have broken the Eskimos’ single-game record of 225 yards set by Sean Millington in 1999.
White was also a very proficient blocker when he didn’t have the ball — a must in the pass-happy CFL.
“Any time you have an injury to one of your players like that, it’s a bad day,” said Eskimos head coach Chris Jones, who called it a “freak injury” when one of White’s spiked shoes apparently got stuck in the artificial turf surface on an otherwise normal cutback drill.
“Any time you lose a guy like John, it’s a setback. We have to be prepared and have the next guy ready.”
That next guy could be rookie Shakir Bell. At the very least, Bell, 23, will be given every opportunity to show he can step into the lineup.
But with two weeks still to go before the regular season, Hervey said he would bring in one or two running backs from the team’s “ready list.”
“The competition (to be the Eskimos’ No. 1 running back) continues. We are not set at that position where we have anointed anyone just yet,” Hervey said.