TRURO – Justin Palardy is getting another kick at the CFL.
The Murray Siding native joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders practice roster on Tuesday after being away from the professional game for almost two months.
“I’m not sure what’s gonna come of it, I just know that they brought me in and I’m here to compete and I’m looking forward to being able to step on a professional football field again,” Palardy, a 26-year-old kicker, said Tuesday from Regina.
After spending parts of four seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Palardy signed with the expansion Ottawa Red Blacks in March. He was released by the club on June 21, just prior to the start of the CFL season and has been out of work since.
“When I was off, (the Roughriders) called me and asked me what my thoughts were on joining the practice roster,” Palardy said. “I was hesitant at first, but football’s not going to be around forever for me so I’ve got to take the opportunity while I can to be part of a professional team again.”
Palardy may get an opportunity to play in Saskatchewan due to Chris Milo’s slow start to the season.
Milo, the Riders’ veteran kicker, has struggled, hitting 15 of 21 field goal attempts for an accuracy rate of 71.4 per cent over seven games.
“This opportunity, I don’t know if it will extend past the (practice roster). If it doesn’t, so be it, if it does, then great, but just to be here and get back into the groove of playing and kicking and being back in the locker room, just being around a professional team again and doing what I love to do while I can still do it …”
Palardy said he hopes to one day pursue a career in the RCMP, and plans to check out the RCMP Academy Depot Division in Regina.
“But until then I’d definitely like to live the dream, so to speak, a little bit longer,” he said.
Palardy was selected in the fifth round of the 2010 draft by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
He went to Winnipeg in August of 2010 where he made 26 of 30 field goals for a club-record 86.7 per cent success ratio. He followed that up by hitting 40 of 52 field goals in 2011.
In 2012, Palardy made 39 of 45 field goals and averaged a career-high 57.3 yards on 70 kickoffs. During that season, he was Winnipeg’s nominee for the CFL’s top special teams player.
Last season, Palardy hit 9 of 12 field goals before he was replaced by Sando DeAngelis. He was released by the Bombers on Aug. 27, 2013.
Palardy signed with Ottawa on March 6.
– With CP files