With star guard Rogers out for season, rookie Lauzon-Seguin gets big opportunity | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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With star guard Rogers out for season, rookie Lauzon-Seguin gets big opportunity

Montreal Alouettes' Michael Sam (94) and teammate Gabriel Knapton (55) battles with Ottawa Redblacks' SirVincent Rogers (55) during the first half of a CFL game in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. The injury bug hit the Redblacks once again as the team lost SirVincent Rogers for the remainder of the season to an ankle injury.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
September 27, 2016 - 1:43 PM

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Redblacks know they will have to find a way to plug a big hole in their offensive line for the remainder of this CFL season.

The Redblacks were dealt a big blow when star guard SirVincent Rogers suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Ottawa's 29-12 home win over the Toronto Argonauts on Friday. The CFL's 2015 most outstanding offensive lineman underwent surgery Monday.

"It's tough," said Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins. "A leader, best offensive lineman in the CFL, but we just have to make a few changes and keep the whole thing going forward."

Rogers not only played a big role on the field, but within the locker-room.

"I call him the old man of the group," said offensive line coach Bryan Chiu. "He's the only one who's married with children and he has that balance about him. He teaches our younger guys how to be a pro. That's such value to us."

The Redblacks (6-5-1) will turn to rookie Jason Lauzon-Seguin at left tackle when they take on the B.C. Lions (8-4) Saturday night.

Lauzon-Seguin has earned high praise from coaches this season for his versatility. So far the 25-year-old has played at guard and right tackle and now makes the move to the left.

"He's versatile and can play all positions along the line," Chiu said. "This will be his fourth different position as a rookie and for a guy that's been banged up he's adjusting very well. The key thing for him is he has his mental toughness. He knows his assignments, his technique is good and he always plays within himself."

Lauzon-Seguin, drafted seventh overall in the 2016 CFL draft, played one game in the CIS at left-tackle, but says he's looking forward to the challenge and plans on making the most of the opportunity.

"It means a lot to me," he said. "It shows that they trust me, have confidence in me and think I can do the job, so it's a good way to show me respect."

Lauzon-Seguin is hoping to have the opportunity to sit down with Rogers before Saturday's game to discuss some of the intricacies of the position.

The Redblacks have had 27 different combinations on the O-line this season, which is in stark comparison to last year when they had the same starting five through the entire regular season and playoffs.

"I didn't realize how good I had it or we had it," said Chiu. "I never had to think about moving guys. Those were the five we went with and that was it. I looked back to see what we're doing different and it’s just the football gods caught up to us.

"Injuries are bound to happen and unfortunately it's coming in big groups and it's hitting us right now, but we have enough guys to weather it and we'll be fine."

The loss of Rogers is perhaps most significant for Trevor Harris, as the left tackle is responsible for guarding the quarterback's "blind side." With Rogers on the line there was always a sense of trust, but Harris says it will be no different regardless of who takes over.

"I already trust them," said Harris. "They're in this locker-room and the coaches believe in them, the organization believes in them so for that reason I believe in them. We’re all in this together and we’re only as good as our weakest link and all of us realize that and we’re going to go out there and do everything we can to play together."

Notes: Redblacks receiver Jamill Smith was named among the Shaw CFL Top Performers Tuesday. Smith caught the ball near his own end zone after a failed Argos field goal and had a 109-yard touchdown return.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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