June 6, 2018 7:07 pm
Updated: June 6, 2018 7:31 pm

Edmonton Eskimos training camp Day 18: The return of the King

Edmonton Eskimos' Ryan King is surrounded by photographers as he hoists the Grey Cup trophy after defeating the Ottawa Redblacks to win the 103rd Grey Cup in Winnipeg, Man., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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In early August of last season, Edmonton Eskimos long-snapper Ryan King tore the ACL in his right knee during a home game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, which ended his season.

On Wendesday, King made his return to full participation a few days earlier than expected.

King was on track to begin practicing with the Eskimos on Sunday and play in the regular season opener next Thursday in Winnipeg.

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King said he’s happy to be back a few days earlier.

“Feels great to get cleared for my first full practice and get out here and run around with the guys,” King said. “Spend a whole two-a-day out here, yeah it felt great to be out here.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos training camp Day 17: Bubble players to be tested as camp winds down

King was working out on the sidelines with new Eskimos director of human performance Kyle Thorne, but admits it’s hard to simulate game action when you’re not physically on the field.

“You know they’re drilling me on the sled pushes and doing all sorts of cone drills and trying to be position specific, but you can’t do that until you’re truly in the field of play with guys around you flying around,” King said.

“These are important days for me, you know, these are almost game days and I treat them like game days. I got up this morning and had my normal game-day routine. I was here super early getting ready to go and I was the first one out on the field today. I have to treat each day like that, there’s still going to be a process of rehab that I have to go through just to make sure there’s not setbacks.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos training camp Day 16: Making the week count

Audibles

Listen below: Long snapper Ryan King is happy to be back on the field in practice for the first time since last August

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Eskimos player profile

Darius Allen
No. 99
Defensive end: 6’3, 240 pounds
Born: April 8, 1992 – Lexington, Kentucky
School: Colorado State-Pueblo

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols (15) gets hauled down by Edmonton Eskimos’ Darius Allen (99) during the first half of pre-season CFL action in Winnipeg Friday, June 1, 2018.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Darius Allen hasn’t been a part of the CFL for very long but he feels this year is his chance to make an impact with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Allen first broke into the CFL in 2016, playing 11 games for the B.C. Lions, recording eight defensive tackles, four quarterback sacks and one forced fumble. He was signed by the Eskimos in August of last season, playing in one game and spent the rest of the season on the team’s practice roster.

Allen was re-signed by the Eskimos on the opening day of CFL free agency back in February. He was part of the reason the team decided to go younger at the defensive line position with the trade of Odell Willis and the release of Marcus Howard and Philip Hunt.

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos trade veteran defensive end Odell Willis

Allen feels ready to take the next step after the Eskimos decided to take another chance on him in the off-season.

“Keep training, keep staying focused, and you know I knew when Edmonton called me back in November that they were serious about me,” Allen said. “I’ve always been serious about the sport, this is something that I love to do. The money has nothing to do with it, it’s just the love of the game for me. I think I can come into a bigger role, I hope that is what’s going on and I’m ready for it.”

Allen is in a battle for a rotational spot in behind projected starting defensive ends Alex Bazzie and Kwaku Boateng.

Roster notes

In addition to King’s return, the Eskimos welcomed back offensive lineman Tommie Draheim. Defensive backs Arjen Colquhoun and Forrest Hightower, along with receivers Bryant Mitchell and Juron Criner, remained out for the Eskimos.

On Thursday, the Eskimos will hold a scrimmage starting at 8:30 a.m. on Clarke Stadium, which will include pads and will be unscripted. It will be the final practice of training camp, final roster cuts need to be made by Sunday.

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