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The Saskatchewan Roughriders have been dealt a devastating blow just days before their training camp begins, as four suffered major injuries during a workout at Mosaic Stadium.
Larry Dean, Nelson Cumbo, Freddy Bishop and Jonathan Cole each tore an Achilles tendon during a single workout session.
This news comes days before the team's official training camp begins.
Due to the team's policy for their health and safety plan, the coaches and personal staff were not allowed to attend the workout sessions.
Roughriders general manager Jeremy O'Day said the workouts were non-strenuous activities created to get the players ready for the new season.
"The purpose of these workouts is really to prepare our players to get ready for football. They've been off of football for a long period of time," O'Day said. "They are standard workout drills. They're nothing more than what we usually do during the season."
The players are still being evaluated by the medical staff, but all four injuries are believed to be long term.
O'Day blamed the injuries on the extra long layoff between intense football activities.
"One of the reasons for these workouts ... was to start to ease them back into playing football," he said.
As for the upcoming training camp exercises, O'Day said the injuries have caused the team to re-evaluate and eliminate some of the exercises they had previously planned on taking the players through.
"We adjusted the schedule that was already dialled back a bit and dialled it back even more," O'Day said.
The team is considering adding new players, but would have to follow the same safety protocols they put in place for the current players. O'Day said the Riders will look at whether anyone already on the roster can fill in for the injured players.