The flying Hawaiian is flying down the football field once again.
Chad Owens participated in his first full practice since training camp in Saskatoon after complications related to a broken foot.
Owens suffered the 2016 season ending injury while he played for the Tiger-Cats and was expected to be ready to play for the Riders by camp.
After participating in some partial practices in camp, Owens ended up on the six-game injured list to start the season and getting another procedure on his foot.
The entire rehab process, including the setback, has been frustrating for Owens.
“The hardest part is not, not playing, but not being able to help my teammates, not being able to go out there and go to war with them,” he said after Tuesday’s practice.
“It was hard for me not to fully compete at training camp. It was the first training camp I haven’t been able to compete and that’s what was frustrating for me.”
Instead, Owens found other ways to help his team. Entering his ninth CFL season, he has a lot of knowledge and experience to draw on to help his younger teammates.
“Anyway you can help the team, right? I couldn’t help by being out there and playing but I could definitely help by helping the young guys and whatever I see and sharing my knowledge and experience and my thoughts and what I think can help them.”
The league allows players on the six-game injured list to begin practicing the week before their sixth game. Unless the Riders pull him off the list a week early, Owens is not eligible to play in a game until Aug. 13.
“It’s amazing. I’ve been itching at this for six weeks. It’s just good to be back out there getting back into the routine,” Owens said.
“It felt pretty good today, I’d say it was a win for the first day back for me.”
Tyler Crapigna out
While Owens was back out on the field Tuesday morning, kicker Tyler Crapigna was missing.
According to Jones, Crapigna, who went three-for-three and executed a successful short kick in Saturday’s game, has pulled something and won’t be playing this week.
“That’s why we went for two at the end, we didn’t have him available,” Jones said before admitting he did kick off after that.
Jones said he doesn’t know how long Crapigna will be out of the lineup or how serious it is, but he’s confident in the capabilities of Quinn van Gylswyk, who will take Crapigna’s place this week in B.C.