The Canadian Football League has plenty of advertising signage on the sidelines and behind the end zones, and that’s occasionally led to players crashing into it. In Friday’s game between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, though, the crash wasn’t out of momentum, but out of a failed plan to use an end zone board as a touchdown celebration prop. Eskimos’ receiver Vidal Hazelton caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Reilly, then went to jump the boards behind the end zone, and came up quite short:
Ouch. Maybe he should have drank some more Booster Juice first? Fortunately, Hazelton was able to bounce back up quickly, and he showed no ill effects afterwards. But this could have been bad, especially considering the Eskimos’ depth chart; they had a remarkable 18 players on the six-game injured list heading into Friday’s game, including five who had played the previous week against the B.C. Lions, and lost three more players from that previous game to the one-game injured list. They also lost three further players during Friday’s game. So it’s a good thing that Hazelton didn’t hurt himself here.
Hazelton, a New York native who played college football for USC and Cincinnati and had several NFL stints before signing with the Toronto Argonauts in 2015, has been an excellent addition for Edmonton overall. The Eskimos picked him up last October, a couple of weeks after the Argonauts bizarrely cut him (along with Tori Gurley and Kevin Elliott, the trio that led their team in receiving in 2015), and he’s fit in well. He didn’t play much at the end of last year, but has posted 33 catches for 453 yards and a touchdown so far this year, including an incredible 108-yard one last week against B.C.:
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) July 29, 2017
Despite all the injuries, the Eskimos were able to beat the Tiger-Cats 33-28 Friday, and improve to 6-0 on the season. It’s their first 6-0 start since 1961. So things are going well for them, even with the injury list piling up, and even with this touchdown celebration not turning out as Hazelton planned.
[Guacamole Fanatic on Reddit]