Riders basic supervisor Jeremy O’Day stated LaBatte has opted out for the yr however is just not retiring.
“We’re coping with a singular set of circumstances and it’s not a traditional yr with all of the rules that we’re going to should do,” the GM stated on a video name Monday.
“(LaBatte’s) positively not planning on retiring. He simply, with all the foundations and rules and the stuff that he has occurring in his personal private life, he’s determined that he’s not going to play below the present circumstances that we’re dealing with.”
O’Day stated he spoke with LaBatte over the weekend and mentioned the potential of him returning to the Riders this yr if the CFL loosens restrictions aimed toward curbing the unfold of COVID-19.
“He did go away the door open if issues start to chill out and it will get again to somewhat bit nearer to regular that he would take into account (taking part in) at the moment,” O’Day stated. “Once more, he’s not determined to by no means play soccer once more. He’s simply determined that below the circumstances, he must do what’s greatest for him and his household.”
LaBatte, 34, performed simply six video games for Saskatchewan in 2019 after coming back from damage. The CFL cancelled the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The six-foot-four, 320-pound native of Weyburn, Sask., was initially picked sixth general by Winnipeg within the 2008 draft and performed 4 seasons with the Blue Bombers earlier than signing with the Riders in 2012.
LaBatte is a six-time CFL all-star and was named the league’s most excellent offensive lineman in 2013, the identical season he gained a Gray Cup with the Roughriders.
In December, he signed a brand new deal that may see him play with Saskatchewan by way of 2022.
“Clearly, it’s not tremendous simple to switch a man of (LaBatte’s) standing, however each time a door closes, one other door opens and it’s a possibility for certainly one of our different guys,” O’Day stated.
Saskatchewan’s beginning quarterback Cody Fajardo stated Monday that LaBatte can be missed on solely on the sphere, however within the locker room.
“To have an all-star guard and a man with numerous expertise, particularly for a first-time beginning quarterback, it’s large. In order that can be sorely missed,” stated Fajardo, who threw for 4,302 yards and 18 touchdowns with the Riders in 2019.
A number of CFL gamers have stepped away from the sport in latest weeks, together with Ottawa Redblacks receiver Brad Sinopoli, who introduced his retirement final week.
Saskatchewan’s all-star linebacker Solomon Elimimian known as it a profession in February and quarterback James Franklin introduced his retirement in April after signing a one-year take care of the Roughriders.
In the meantime, the Roughriders have signed quarterback Paxton Lynch, a first-round decide (twenty sixth general) of the NFL’s Denver Broncos in 2016.
Saskatchewan Roughriders launch 2021 schedule
© 2021 The Canadian Press
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