On Sunday, pro teams on both sides of the border lost key players to a string of injuries. With the Leafs locked out, the Jays suffering through another disappointing season and the Bills depleted at running back, fans received more bad news on the injury front.
Jonas Valanciunas – Toronto Raptors centre/ forward – Strained Calf – out for 1 week
In an optional practice Sunday with the Raptors, Valanciunas said he felt “something pop” and was later seen sporting a walking boot.
Team officials are calling the injury a calf strain and his return is open-ended, but with training camp set in Halifax at the start of next week, any time the young Lithuanian import misses will be tough.
“After hearing what the doctor’s diagnosis was, I’m less concerned than I was when I first heard about it,” head coach Dwane Casey said on Monday at a meeting with the media before the Raptors went through an informal workout.
“Hopefully he won’t miss much time…he’s moving much better today so it’s not something I think is going to keep him out for a long period of time.”
The Raptors are familiar with calf strains after power forward Andrea Bargnani played just 31 or 66 games last season with a similar injury. After talking with team doctors and athletic trainers, Casey is optimistic Valanciunas’s injury won’t keep him out as long as Bargnani last year..
“The difference was, Andrea’s was a muscle and this was more of a tendon, it doesn’t really have a function in the body,” he said.
Ricky Ray – Toronto Argonauts quarterback – Knee Injury – Day-to-Day
The Toronto Argonauts likely won’t know the status of their No. 1 quarterback Ray until later in the week after he left the first quarter of Sunday’s 31-10 loss to the Alouettes. He rolled his ankle but later called it a left knee injury.
With Ray stuck on the sidelines in a sweatsuit, Montreal blew out the boatmen by 21 points, their worst loss of the season in a critical game between the two top teams in the CFL’s East Division.
With the next game coming Sunday against Winnipeg it is unlikely Ray will be ready to return.
“[Ray] is going to have to be healthy for us to play him next week. It is a short practice week and we’re going to take him back to Toronto and have him looked at by our people. At this point I don’t have a definite answer as to how he is,” head coach Scott Milanovich told TSN Radio
Backup QB Jarious Jackson, who had not thrown a pass all season, replaced Ray and completed 15 of 31 passes for 198 yards and an interception.
It will be tough to replace Ray, who came into Sunday’s game with the highest completion percentage among starting quarterbacks (68.4%).
CJ Spiller – Buffalo Bills running back – Strained AC joint in shoulder – 1-2 Weeks
The Bills are breathing a little easier after determining that Spiller’s injury is a strained AC joint and not a separated shoulder.
After going down hard on his shoulder against Cleveland during a 24-14 Bills win, Spiller was helped from the field holding his arm and shoulder in place.
Starting running back Fred Jackson was lost to a knee injury in the first game of the year, and Spiller had filled in admirably recording consecutive 100-yard games and joined Jim Brown as only the second running back to average 10 yards or better per carry through the first two weeks of an NFL season.
“He may not be as bad as originally thought and we’re not going to completely rule him out this week, but it’s more of a chance that he won’t than he will,” Bills head coach Chan Gailey said in a press conference Monday.