RT Neufeld out for 6-8 weeks

As reported last night on the Sports Cage starting Canadian RT Patrick Neaufeld has a broken leg and will be out 6 to 8 weeks.
Ben Heenan who played spectacular at RG las season when needed will be given a chance as the 6th lineman to move outside to RT. Neaufeld did play OT while with the U of S at University but playing OT in the CIS and the CFL is a huge difference.
The less Heralded Neufeld made the move in his second season last year knocking Import Pro Football Veteran Chris Patrich out and giving the Riders 4 Canadian's strong on the O line.
The Riders also have brought in Jose Valdez this season for his first CFL training camp.
Valdez comes in with a similar resume to Xavier Fulton.
Valdez spen his JR and SR seasons at DI Arkansas starting at both RT and LT 4 NFL training camps and three seasons of Practice roster play he comes with more expersince then Heenan at a higher level of football playing outside at the OT position.
Problem is that Valdez is an import which will leave the Riders cutting it close on the Ratio.
3 Oline solid on the interior. DTs Sholo and Evans along with rotating Canadian rush DE foley give the Riders a strong ratio spot on the Dline.
Also returning to the starting lineup is Graig Butler an All star safety his rookie season and several Canadian DBs to back him up in Newman and Woldu.
The word on the sports cage is that Valdez looked great at practice for the OT spot.
Valdeaz was brought in for probably this exact reason to give the Riders depth on the outside at OT.
Heenan has been projected to one day be able to play RT the question is is he ready yet to make that move.
Without Neufeld the more importance there is for Bagg to stay Healthy to start at WR with Getz in the SB having 2 Canadian receivers that are good enough to be top starting receivers in the CFL

Injuries are always tricky.

But you noted we have 7-9 Canadians that can start and that is the good part of it. Plus having depth behind those Cdn starters is big.

Now they just have to figure out if it will be two non import kickers or if Schmitt will be in the mix? This hits ratio mix as well.

The Neufeld injury is particularly tricky because really the best replacement will be import Valdez unless Heenan can pull a Neufeld and come out of no where to play great at RT. and Injury on the Interior line would have been a much easier fix with Heenan more comfortable at RG and Bestie the ability to move over to center or LG depnding on who is injured.
Bryce McCall already released once though of as a top prospect dropped out of even being drafted last year and now released so quickly. Thought that he at least could have made it as a special teamer with the hopes to be groomed into a safety for the future. Bamba was another guy that the Riders drafted last year late rounds as he was once a top 15 guy and they released him early as well after not getting off the Practice roster last year. Again could have helped with depth at the Canadian Receiver spot.
All three of the Canadian Receivers need live up to their expectations. Getz still good I think but still aways will have that dropsies label. Bagg needs to stay Healthy and Sisco needs to stay healthy and live up to hi standards as a first round draft pick. After being among the final NFL cuts in 2010 this will be his third full camp with the Riders and it is time to show that they did not make a mistake in taking him

I do have to wonder if they are considering trying LaBatte to tackle, seeing as they have 4 Guards plus Watman on the roster. LaBatte has the experience that he should be able to pick it up, but I am not sure if he has the knees for the spot.

Hope they at least ponder something like that.

If Labatte could at least do it on a part time back up in just such this case where Neufeld is out the interior whould not miss a beat with Bestie moving over to LG and Heenan at RG where he is most comfortable right now in just his second season.
Neufeld trully was a surprise last season. He got a chance to fill in at RT in a game Chris Patrick was thrown out of and then he got to start a game on the interior I think filling in for Labatte at LG and within a week he had taken the job away from Football Veteran OT Chris Patrick who played NFL UFL CFL.
Canadian RTs are just beginning to break into the line ups in the CFL on a regular basis of equal ability of their import Counterparts but righ now the depth to have two on a team capable of starting are hard to find,
Calary has an Ideal situation with J'Michael Deane starting at LG but is able to swing out to RT, a position he started his SR season at Mich St, when needed.

Heenan practiced at RT
He will be starting at RT against the Esks

It will be intersting to see how quickly he can get up to the speed of the CFL DEs.
Last season was probably expected to work on both RG and RT but after being thrust into the starting line up at RG and playing very well and was needed a lot. In the Meantime Neufeld got the call to fill in at RT and he steamrolled into a starter and played very well. with the situation Heenan probably did not get to work at the RT spot at all.
Now Patty out and the RRs have rookie Watman expected to be a quick study at Center or Guard if needed and the now much more experienced Dan Clark to go along with Heenan already very comfortable at RG he can spend the TC working at RT a lot more. As was stated that Valdez looked very good at OT so far and could be similar to Fulton.
They sould have a solid 7 Canadian Starters for the ratio so going with a more fine tuned Valdez at OT as an import may indeed be the best for the QB.
The future though for Canadian RTs in Regina has a lot of potential with Neufeld already there, Heenan working towards it and Vonk possibily brought along over the next few seasons

Honestly, I don't think he is cut for a tackle spot, at least not yet. Hopefully I am wrong, but the only other OT that they have is Kyle Hill I believe.

Hill is another guy a bit younger and has entered the CFL a bit quicker than Fulton and Valdez but all three had siginifigant starting time at the OT spot in BCS conferences.
If Neufeld should be out early where he may be seen as a 9 game IR and the Riders go with two bookend import OTs Fulton at LT Valdez at RT and Hill on the 46 ready to play if either of the two more pro football expereinced guys go down or are banged up for a week or two.
I do not think Heenan is ready and will certainly just as valuable being the first guy in on the interior being able to be on the 42 each week and filling in if Fulton or Valdez go down to finish out a game