When Arceneaux tore his ACL last August, he wasn’t expected back on the field for close to a year.
“This is not the way this story is supposed to go or how I want to go out. So once Sask. had given me that opportunity, it was just only right for me to do my part for when I had to report here for training camp. To be ready to go,” Arceneaux said on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Louisiana native spent his first eight CFL seasons with the B.C. Lions, racking up over 8,000 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns.
But when the Lions didn’t offer him a new contract last winter, Arceneaux signed with the Roughriders.
“We think he’s going to add a lot, not only as a player but in terms of his approach to the game, how he studies film,” Riders head coach Craig Dickenson said.
“The fact that he’s moving as well as he is only eight months after his injury shows you what kind of work ethic he has.”
Arceneaux’s outgoing personality and game-breaking talent gave rise to “The Manny Show” in B.C., but don’t mistake that for a me-first attitude.
“I’m just a piece to the puzzle and wanting to do my part to help those guys around me and that’s pretty much what it’s about: the team,” he said.
“I’ve been up here years and I’ve been able to achieve some things but more importantly I want a Grey Cup, so it’s just about putting the team first.”
While Arceneaux said he has a sour taste over his departure from the Lions, there’s no chip on his shoulder.
“I’m not moreso about proving anybody wrong, it’s moreso me proving the people right; the ones that actually believed in me and said, ‘I know Manny can come back from his injury’ and ‘I know Manny’s a hell of an athlete,'” he said.
The Roughriders play their first 2019 pre-season game in Calgary on May 31.