The Saskatchewan Roughriders are hoping for a similar story at linebacker to take place in 2023 that unfolded last season.
Larry Dean returned to the green and white in 2022 after missing the entire 2021 season following a torn Achilles injury. Dean was able to play in all 18 games for Saskatchewan and ended up surpassing the 100 tackle mark for the second time in his career as he finished off with 101. Dean also finished off with career highs with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. The linebacker’s return was one of the top comeback stories across the Canadian Football League last season and was one of the few highlights for the Roughriders.
Micah Teitz will be hoping to write a comeback story of his own after missing the entire 2022 season due to a groin injury.
Last week, Teitz caught up with the voice of the Riders, Michael Ball on the SportsCage to give an update on his recovery this off-season.
The linebacker said the groin injury was a significant one that led to a frustrating recovery period.
“Required a lot of rehab and took a lot longer than I expected.”
“It’s been almost a year since I’ve been fully healthy so that’s been tough on me as well.”
In 2021, the 26-year-old had his best season with the Roughriders, picking up 64 tackles along with three sacks.
Teitz was expected to be competing for a starter’s spot last season at the outside linebacker spot. Saskatchewan was forced to start a pair of American linebackers last season with Dean shifting to the outside linebacker spot and Darnell Sankey becoming the team’s middle linebacker after Teitz suffered his injury during the spring.
With Sankey signing with the XFL’s Arlington Renegades this off-season, Dean will shift back to his natural position of middle linebacker and Teitz will have the chance to reclaim an outside linebacker spot in camp.
Last year Teitz and Dean were roommates and the former Calgary Dino noticed Dean spent a lot of time working on his preparation last year.
“The attention to detail that he shows is pretty incredible.”
Derrick Moncrief is expected to round out the Roughriders linebacker group. Moncrief returned to Saskatchewan last season and saw action at the wide side outside linebacker position. He ended the season with a career high four interceptions in 2022.
In order to achieve the success like his teammates, Teitz says the first step is to remain healthy throughout the upcoming season.
“Just staying healthy is priority number one.”