If the Riders want to play a game of follow the leader to win more, look no further than Brendon LaBatte to follow.
The offensive lineman joined Chris Jones on Tuesday, calling out the team’s practice habits and then on Thursday night put his money where his mouth was by fighting off a knee injury to keep playing.
When LaBatte left the field, with help from trainers, it looked like LaBatte wouldn’t only miss the game but could be out a while. He headed into the tunnel and the sixth o-lineman Eddie Steele, who is actually a defensive tackle, threw away his number 97 jersey for number 64.
But when LaBatte returned, everyone couldn’t believe it. LaBatte admitted he needed to because there were only five offensive linemen on the roster, and his team needed him.
He also admitted it was a tough night without the power of both knees, but he helped an offensive line keep the quarterback clean and open some gaping holes for running backs, who collected 200 yards on ground.
It was a courageous effort and if you were a teammate of LaBatte, how could you not step up your game with an effort like that coming from a veteran leader?
LaBatte was a deserving winner of Green Zone analyst Belton Johnson’s beast on the post-game show.