MONTREAL — Offensive lineman Pier-Olivier Lestage and wide receiver Tyson Philpot, identified as players who will have to endure more with Christophe Normand’s suspension, are up for the challenge.
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On Friday against the Ottawa Redblacks, the two first-year players will be called on for more games to make up for the departure of the full-back, who was arrested last week and accused of luring an under-18.
“We have one starter less. Of course I will have more responsibility. As I said before, since I’ve been here I’ve been up for a challenge. I’m also very excited to be able to play more,” said Lestage.
The Quebecer, who spent the 2021 season in the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad, has been a member of the “ALS” since late July. In particular, he justified his decision to make the leap to the Canadian Football League (CFL) in order to get playing time, and his wish seems to be coming true.
“I’m completely assimilated. The training keeps getting better. I don’t make mistakes anymore when it comes to the playbook,” Lestage said when asked about his progress since arriving at the Nest.
“I train left, right, as a blocker and as a guard,” he continued. Things are going well. I want to make myself as indispensable as possible. If someone falls in battle, I want to be the one to replace them, in any position.
More fear than harm
Calling Lestage onto the field when a sixth lineman is needed for protection gives Philpot an opportunity to shine with the ball.
“It’s an extra chance and I have to take it,” he said with a smile.
The ninth pick of the last CFL auction hasn’t impressed since the beginning of the year.
“When the team uses your services, it means you’re doing things right,” analyzed the British Columbia native. The coaches also see that I achieve something in training.
Philpot’s increased responsibility would not have been possible had he not been fortunate enough not to be in too bad shape after his last appearance. On August 20, he walked out of the game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after being hit hard by two rivals.
“It was a scary moment,” Philpot recalled. I feel good and have taken the time off to heal myself during the week off. I feel like myself and ready to play games.”