Saturday, August 3, 2013

Gaydosh's Season Is Done

This isn’t exactly the rookie football season Linden Gaydosh envisioned.
The former Calgary Dinos defensive tackle and the first-overall pick by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2013 CFL Draft will undergo surgery Tuesday on a herniated disc in his back, which he suffered last week during conditioning drills with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
But even though the Panthers waived the 22-year-old Friday, don’t expect to see the 6-foot-3, 315-lb. interior lineman in Ticats’ black and yellow anytime soon, as the Panthers are expected to place Gaydosh on injured reserve Saturday.
After signing with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent in mid-May following an impressive showing at the team’s rookie camp, Gaydosh acquitted himself well during off-season organized team activities, but he pulled up lame during the team’s conditioning test.
“I had shooting pain down my leg, and I knew something was wrong,” Gaydosh said Friday. “I went into the trainers, and I was in there for a couple days without any progress, and they said, ‘Well … it could be a disc. We’ll have an MRI and check it out,’ and that’s where it went from there.
“I was scared,” Gaydosh added. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. I can deal with an arm or a leg or something, but a back is tough to deal with.”
The MRI revealed the herniated disc, which is pressing against a nerve in the versatile defensive tackle’s back.
The injury will end his rookie season.
“Pretty much, yeah — it’s a couple months with the rehab, at least,” said Gaydosh, who was inked to a three-year pact.
Gaydosh will meet with team doctors again Monday before going under the knife.
“I’m disappointed, but obviously, I showed enough that they want to invest in me and keep me here,” said Gaydosh, who was a two-time Canada West all-star. “I’m pleased with that. I came here, and I wasn’t an expendable body. I wasn’t coming here for them just to have a look and see what happens — they actually have legitimate interest in me.
“It makes me realize that I didn’t come here and run into this injury and have to get thrown back home with nothing going for me. They’re willing to put the time in and invest in me, and I kind of can’t wait to get past this and be ready to play football again.”
The product of Peace River, Alta., will still attend team meetings — while collecting his full NFL salary — and plans on delving into the playbook and soaking up everything he can while he’s rehabbing the injury.
The NFL minimum salary per season is $405,000.
“I’ve gotta do all the mental aspect, and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, a lot of learning to do and then trying to gain my physical game back,” Gaydosh said.
While veteran defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy combined for 231/2 sacks last season, the Panthers decided to rebuild their disappointing interior this off-season, drafting defensive tackles Star Lotulelei, out of the University of Utah, in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft and Kawann Short, out of Purdue University, in the second round.
Those additions, combined with 2011 third-rounder Sione Fua and veteran Dwan Edwards still being in the fold, made for stiff competition for Gaydosh in the Charlotte, N.C. heat.

(Calgary Sun)

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