Whitaker remains positive despite injury

It has now been three years running Alouettes tailback Brandon Whitaker has suffered a season-ending injury. That will lead to some speculation the team could move on without him in 2015.

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But Whitaker has no desire to delve into, or worry about, the future.

“I have no control over my future. I feel like I can still play at a high level,” Whitaker said Wednesday at Olympic Stadium, following the team’s annual photo. “I don’t worry about the business side. If it’s in the plans for me to be here, I’ll be here.”

Whitaker’s left foot was in a walking boot/cast, after he fractured two bones last Wednesday, during an off-field workout. He has been placed on the six-game injured list. Montreal has four regular-season games remaining.

Two seasons ago, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and had his season end prematurely. While last year it was a dislocated shoulder combined with a pulled hamstring.

Whitaker, who remains under contract to the team next season, has been replaced by Tyrell Sutton. The Als also activated Chris Rainey, who made his season debut last Monday, against Saskatchewan.

“I can’t wrap my head around it, but I have faith something positive will come out of it,” Whitaker said. “I try not to drive myself crazy. It’s frustrating. Honestly, I just don’t know.”

General manager Jim Popp gave no indication on Wednesday that Whitaker doesn’t remain in the team’s plans.

“He works his tail off to come back from injuries,” Popp said. “I don’t look at it as durability. It’s tough luck. He’s proven he can come back from injuries. This one doesn’t require surgery. He can return to the level that he was.

“I’d like him back.”

Whitaker will conclude the season with 764 rushing yards (a 4.5-average) and one touchdown. He also caught 42 passes for 274 yards, scoring once.

Sutton performed admirably against the Roughriders, gaining 91 yards on 15 carries. Rainey, for his part, carried eight times, gaining 44 yards. He also opened the second half with a 52-yard kickoff return.

Meanwhile, wide-receiver Chad Johnson didn’t participate in the Als’ light workout Wednesday at Stade Hebert – one during which the players didn’t wear helmets.

Johnson’s experiencing some tightness in the groin area, according to head coach Tom Higgins, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI. That means he’s unlikely to play Saturday, at Toronto.

He might be replaced by Kenny Stafford.

Linebacker Kyries Hebert, who has missed two games with a pulled hamstring, is expected to practice Thursday. But it might not be prudent to start him against the Argonauts, given the fact he’s been inactive for three weeks.


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