Tuesday, October 20, 2015
RIDERS DE-ACTIVATE MCCALLUM
With the club at 2-13 and eliminated from the playoff race, they'll be going with newly-acquired rookie kicker Tyler Crapigna for Saturday's home game against Edmonton and beyond.
Crapigna was acquired from Calgary along with a 3rd round pick in the 2016 CFL Draft in exchange for leading rusher Jerome Messam on Wednesday's CFL Trade Deadline. That means, barring injury, Rider fans won't see 23-year veteran kicker Paul McCallum again this season.
"We're gonna go with Tyler for the rest of the way," O'Day said. "We had a conversation with Paul and Paul was just a pro. He's been around a long time and he saw the trades that we made. He understands them. He understands what we're trying to do for the future so he handled it like a pro. Really, really good by him."
O'Day said the club has not given McCallum his outright release.
"No you can't, especially with a guy that's played a hundred years, you can't release a guy whenever you want," O'Day explained. "He won't be released. He'll be part of the team. What that role is going forward is yet to be determined but he's not outright released from the team, no."
O'Day agreed the best term for McCallum's status might be that he's been "de-activated".
"He's not going to be inactive for the rest of the games but having said that, if something happens to Tyler, then we have the ability to put him back on," O'Day stated. "But we were pretty clear that he would be inactive for the rest of the season unless something came up with injuries. Again, it's not a great conversation you have to have with a player but Paul understands it. He's been around a long time and it's happened to him before. He's had younger guys behind him and when you're in a situation like we are, it's always in the best interests of the team to see what you have moving forward."
After last week's trade, Crapigna told Calgary reporters that he's excited to finally have the chance to play after backing up veteran Stamps kicker Rene Parades all season long. The rookie from McMaster told the Riders the same thing.
"Tyler's just really excited to have that opportunity," O'Day concluded. "It's funny -- you'd think a guy that's coming from a Grey Cup contender to a team that's out of the playoffs would be a little hesitant but he's been fantastic. He's excited with the opportunity and is excited to build for the future."
The Riders hold Day 1 of their work week on Tuesday with an open practice at Mosaic Stadium. Saturday the Riders host the Edmonton Eskimos at 5:00 pm on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.