Injuries represent a huge threat both to the players and to the team. One just has to look at the Als when they were THE team in the late nineties and Calvillo suffered a year ending injury. The Als season was also ended.
In recent years the Als have had some injury prone Canadian players who had outstanding potential but injuries kept them from showing their excellence. First, Sylvan Girard, the Als first round draft choice in 1999, came out of university with blazing speed and good hands. Sylvan had a tryout in the NFL and joined the Als after the NFL released him. He quickly became a first string player and, was effective at the split end position. He had a long spell in the CFL but had repeated injuries and reached only journeyman status.
A second Alouette who had overwhelming potential was Dave Stala. Stala was a sixth round draft choice who quickly demonstrated,in preseason, that he had great hands and in his second year with the club he was first string receiver with over 1000 yards in receptions. He could get in the clear and was proficient at catching both the long a nd short passes. In his third year however, Stala was quickly through for the season with injury. The next season he did not show this excellence,and as the early season developed he dropped some passes and again went down with injury. His future with the team has to be questioned at this point.
Eric Lapointe was the best in the CIS for two years and had record yardage as a runner. Eric came to the Als after stints with both Hamilton and Toronto. He was a great defensive player and, was listed as second or third string fullback.
After Mike Pringle lost his job to Lawrence Phillips, the Als won the Grey Cup and Philips was booted off the team and, for a couple of years the Als brought in a NCAA back yearly without success. Robert Edwards, himself a victim of injury, won the starting fullback job with the team and Matthews gave Lapointe some playing time. When Edwards went down with injury, Lapointe became the full time first string fullback and excelled in that role. Lapointe hit the holes quickly with speed, had good power and could take a pass. He was instrumental in taking the Als into the Grey Cup where he excelled in a losing cause.
Lapointe, who was no stranger to injuries, was then hobbled by them and drifted out of the CFL. Lapointe, Stala and Girard were players robbed of their potential by injuries.
In 2006 Josh Bourke, a Canadian tackle, made the NFL but could not last the year because of injuries. He was cut in early 2007 when he joined the Alouettes and became a quality offensive tackle. Near the end of that season, he was cut down by injuries. Bourke has great potential and let us hope that he can stay healthy in 08.
Girard, Stale and Lapointe would, but for injuries, have had it all!!!!