The BC Lions have suffered a pretty significant setback with the team confirming that top wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux suffered a broken bone in his left hand last week during training camp drills and will be out of action for at least six weeks. The Lions confirmed the injury over the weekend but Arcenaux originally suffered the injury last week on Wednesday June 4th while competing with defensive back Cord Parks for a deep end zone pass that saw both players fall onto the track that surrounds the field at Hillside stadium in Kamloops, BC. The absence of Arceneaux leaves a big hole in the Lions receiving corps as the 27 year old has been a favorite target since returning to the team last season after failing to stick with an NFL club during a two year experiment down south. Arceneaux who spent the 2009 and 2010 season in BC, came back to total 51 receptions for 885 yards and six touchdowns in 2013. What will be especially frustrating for Arceneaux is that the Louisiana native was looking very sharp after showing a quick and impressive recovery from off season ACL surgery.
BC Lions head coach Mike Benevides addressed the media on Monday for the first time regarding Arceneaux’s broken hand. ”I feel for Manny because he was having a spectacular camp and he’s worked and rehabbed his tail off in the off season to get to where he wants to be and is having a great camp and then this happens which is unfortunate. The good news is that he will be back, it’s not a catastrophic thing it’s one of those things that you just have to be patient with and then deal with some pain. Manny’s a tough guy, has a high pain threshold and we’ll get him back sooner than later.”
This development points to a possible slower than expected start for the Lions offense as a whole, when you combine the fact that starting quarterback Travis Lulay is recovering slightly slower than expected from off season shoulder surgery and still not one hundred percent. Through the first two weeks of training camp Lulay has not been throwing the ball and in offensive drills has been handing the ball off during his repetitions. At this rate it would not be surprising if Lulay missed the two game pre season schedule and while it’s very possible he could sit out the season opener on Saturday June 28th when the Lions host the Edmonton Eskimos, as to not unnecessarily rush back and risk further setbacks. Perhaps sensing this scenario the Lions were pro active in the off season in acquiring veteran CFL quarterback Kevin Glenn from the expansion Ottawa Redblacks and Glenn is expected to see the start in the clubs first of two pre season games, this Friday night in Edmonton.
The Lions also feel they have another serviceable veteran pivot at the ready in the form of 32 year old former NFL quarterback John Beck. Beck, who played his college football at Brigham Young University was a second-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2007. Beck spent two seasons in Miami before splitting the next four between Baltimore, Washington and Houston. Beck will see some time under centre on Friday night in Edmonton, making his CFL debut.
The Lions are scheduled to meet the Edmonton Eskimos this Friday night in the first of two pre season games. Kickoff goes just after 6 o’clock our time. The Lions host the Calgary Stampeders to close out the exhibition schedule the following weekend on Saturday June 28th.