- Free Agency
OTTAWA — One of football’s most devastating injuries, it appears the Achilles has ended another promising player’s season.
Tim Baines of the Ottawa Sun reported Wednesday that Ottawa REDBLACKS running back William Powell will miss the entire 2016 season with an Achilles injury. While no further details have been revealed, the injury was suffered during the first half of the team’s opening pre-season game, an 18-14 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
— Tim Baines (@TimCBaines) June 15, 2016
Powell had two carries for 18 yards in his brief pre-season action, including a 15-yard sprint in the first quarter. Last season the 28-year-old arrived from the NFL and rushed for 447 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 76 carries for an average of 5.9 yards.
He also added 158 receiving yards and a touchdown through the air, playing a major role in helping spark the REDBLACKS’ East Division title and eventual run to the Grey Cup Championship against the Edmonton Eskimos.
REDBLACKS general manager Marcel Desjardins told Baines he plans to fill the position in-house, leaving Travis Greene and Travon Van among leading candidates to step into a starting role as well as national running back Kienan Lafrance.
Van and Greene were used extensively in the team’s first pre-season game, combining for 14 carries and two catches. While Green checked in with 29 yards on seven carries, Van has to be the favourite for the position after a strong mini-camp back in April and a good showing in pre-season action thus far.
A 25-year-old Montana graduate, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Van rushed for 38 yards on seven carries and a 5.4-yard average against Winnipeg along with a near-touchdown that was ruled out of bounce.
The REDBLACKS have until June 25 when they open their season in Edmonton to figure it out. Until then, they’ll take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in pre-season action on Friday, June 17.
Baines also reported the REDBLACKS will be without offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan (wrist) and fullback Brendan Gillanders (knee) for 8-10 weeks.