SASKATOON, Sask. — The Manny show opened early.
Emmanuel Arceneaux, whose Twitter name is @mannyshow84, was supposed to take it easy in his first appearance at the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ training camp on Sunday.
At least that was the plan considering the veteran slotback was sidelined for the second half of the B.C. Lions’ 2018 CFL season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Arceneaux sustained the injury in a 24-21 loss to the visiting Roughriders on Aug. 25. It often takes 12 months for players to recover from the injury.
On Sunday, Arceneaux caught a Cody Farjardo pass in full stride that drew an appreciative ovation from the crowd at Griffiths Stadium.
“Technically, I jumped in on a series when I should have actually been observing and watching and my competitive juices started flowing,” said Arceneaux, who signed with the Riders as a free agent during the off-season.
“I shouldn’t have been out there. That’s on me because when the ball is on the air, you have to make a play.”
Riders rookie head coach Craig Dickenson was pleased with Arceneaux’s effort and catch.
“We might have to slow him down a little bit, but it was good to see him moving around,” Dickenson said. “These guys are pretty amazing healers. Our philosophy will always be to take it slow with guys coming off injuries so when they’re out there, they are 100 per cent.”
Arceneaux tore the ACL in his right knee for the first time in a 40-26 loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Oct. 11, 2013. He bounced back from that injury to record 62 receptions for 905 yards and eight touchdowns en route to being named a West Division all-star.
“I’m not like other guys and I’ve done my recovery under the radar,” said the 31-year-old Arceneaux. “It was just I being a pro.”
There were doubts when the Riders signed Arceneaux after his latest knee injury and whether the receiver could bounce back in time for training camp. There wasn’t any doubt in Arceneaux’s mind that he would be ready.
“When Saskatchewan gave me that opportunity and brought me in as a veteran, there were expectations that come with that,” said Arceneaux, who surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in three seasons with the Lions and was a CFL all-star in 2015 and 2016. “If I’m going to talk the talk, I have to walk the walk. I’m going to work my butt off so the young guys see what it takes to be a pro.”
The start of the Riders’ main training camp was delayed for 15 minutes while the players met CFL Players’ Association representatives regarding the new collective bargaining agreement.
“We just had to explain the situation to everybody,” explained Charleston Hughes, the Riders’ CFLPA representative. “We wanted to inform the rookies of what was going on and what kind of situation they are in now because it’s different for a lot of people.”
The new CBA still has to be ratified by the players and approved by the league’s board of governors. Hughes didn’t say when the Riders would conduct their vote on the CBA.
“We told everybody about the details (Sunday) morning so it’s hard to get a good judge on what people have been thinking because we went to practice right after that,” Hughes said. “Right now the focus is on football and making the team.”
Representing the CFLPA was Riders linebacker Solomon Elimimian, a second vice-president with the Players’ Association. He missed Sunday’s session while dealing with the CBA and is expected to be away for the rest of the week while meeting with players on teams across the league.
QUICK HITS : Justin McInnis and Brayden Lenius, the receivers the Riders selected with their first two picks in the 2019 CFL draft, are both nursing hamstring injuries. McInnis, the sixth overall pick, didn’t practice on Sunday due to the injury. Lenius, the 15th overall selection, was the best receiver on the field Sunday, before injuring his right hamstring. The status of both was not immediately known … Centre Dan Clark is in Saskatoon and attending team meetings. Clark is recovering from injuries sustained during a single-vehicle rollover while returning from a community event in Cudworth on May 7. There is no timeline for Clark to re-join the Riders.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019