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Ailing Durant could miss next start for Roughriders

THE boot was off but Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Cory Chamblin won't rush his decision regarding quarterback Darian Durant's status.

Durant took limited reps in practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's session with his injured right foot back in a walking boot. Chamblin will wait as long as he can before deciding whether Durant will play Saturday in Guelph, Ont., versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"It is a game-time decision and I really mean that," Chamblin told reporters. "He did enough (Thursday) to where he made it through and he got the reads that he needed.

"If it doesn't swell up and do all of those other things, we'll probably see him on game day."

Durant, 30, injured his foot in a 39-28 road win over the Toronto Argonauts on July 11. He wore the boot early last week before shedding it to resume practising and eventually start against Hamilton.

Durant showed no signs Sunday of the foot bothering him, completing 20-of-32 passes for 347 yards and four TDs in a convincing 37-0 home win over the Ticats. Durant also ran twice for 18 yards and was named the CFL's offensive player of the week.

But Durant said Wednesday the foot began bothering him after the game and he put the boot back on to take pressure off it.

Saskatchewan (4-0) is the CFL's only unbeaten team and Durant has been a big part of that. Durant has thrown a league-leading 12 TD passes and has yet to surrender an interception.

But if Durant can't play, sophomore Drew Willy would make his second career CFL start.


Steele leading at Open

OAKVILLE, Ont. -- Brendan Steele held on to his early clubhouse lead to win the first round of the Canadian Open after shooting a 7-under 65.

No golfer in the afternoon grouping was able to crack the top five, with Joe Affrunti coming closest. His 4-under 68 performance tied him for seventh.

The 30-year-old Steele played consistent golf over the par-72, 7,253-yard Glen Abbey Golf Course, only bogeying the par-4 ninth hole. Steele had eight birdies, five on the front nine alone at the $5.6-million PGA Tour event.

Scott Gardiner, Matt Kuchar and Scott Brown were all tied for second, one shot off the pace.

Ottawa's Brad Fritsch was the top Canadian after a 3-under 69 performance.

He birdied his final three holes to pass David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., on the leaderboard. Hearn finished at 2-under.


Leafs give Nonis extension

TORONTO -- These Toronto Maple Leafs were built in Brian Burke's image of truculence and grit. Six months after taking over as general manager, Dave Nonis hasn't drastically overhauled the roster.

But the moves he has made so far were enough to earn Nonis a five-year contract extension that gives him some long-term security.

"We all know that there's no short-term fixes in professional sports," Nonis said in a radio interview on Sportsnet 590. "If you're thinking short term you're probably going to do long-term damage."

That's the directive to Nonis and Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri by Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke, who was with the Los Angeles Kings when they won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Leiweke's message has been about the future, and in extending Nonis he gave the 47-year-old the keys to the kingdom.

In announcing the extension, Leiweke said ownership and management "felt it critical" to extend Nonis's deal.


Big money for Matty Ice

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Now that he's wearing a $100 million smile, quarterback Matt Ryan is ready to get back to work for the Atlanta Falcons.

"I've always not worried about the business side of it," Ryan said. "I really think as a player, if you're hung up or worried about that or thinking about all those things, you're taking away from what you should be doing."

Ryan and the Falcons agreed to a five-year contract extension on Thursday that was being finalized as he led the offence through practice on the first day of training camp.

A person familiar with the situation says Ryan's extension is for $103.75 million, with $59 million guaranteed. The person said Ryan will average $20.75 million during the first three years of the extension. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the terms of the deal had not been announced.

Ryan, 28, is entering the sixth and final season of his original rookie contract and will earn $10 million.

The NFL's No. 3 overall draft pick of 2008, last season Ryan was invited to the Pro Bowl for the second time. He completed 68.6 per cent of his passes, tops in the NFL.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 26, 2013 C6

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