Dell joins Ti-Cats

(File photo by Heather Davidson)
(File photo by Heather Davidson)

Fifth-year Isaac Dell knows what it means to deal with difficult situations.

Last summer, the Wilfrid Laurier running back was offered to sign with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at the end of their training camp, but opted to be released by the team after receiving a concussion last June, his second in a three-month span.

“The team doctor and I came to a mutual agreement that it would be best for my health to take the summer off of football and just focus on recovering,” Dell explained.

“I took about two weeks off and basically did nothing. And then I started doing physiotherapy, where the physiotherapist worked on my neck and upper back, and it seemed to be a lot of the symptoms I was having weren’t necessarily directly related to a head injury as much as my neck. Working on my neck and relaxing really helped.

“Eventually I got back to work and had a bit of a regular summer and I was able to recover fast enough to play in my last season at school.”

Dell was drafted 37th overall in last May’s draft, but he returned to the Hawks last August.

And after his final year with Laurier, Dell signed with the Ti-Cats for the upcoming season — and is injury free.

Despite having to stay back a year, Dell made the most of it, and came back to play one last year with Laurier, while also tying up some loose ends with his education.

“Initially I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t able to play with Hamilton, but I just tried to look at it in a positive manner and I was able to come back and finish up my education sooner than expected,” he said.

“If I played with Hamilton it would’ve taken me an extra couple years to finish my undergrad.”

“So I was able to come back and play one final season of university ball and focus on my education and get that out of the way.”

Finally, he was faced with the decision of whether or not he should follow through with playing a summer season of football, or take the longer route and attempt to fully recover from his injury.

Dell weighed his options before making his decision.

“I think that at the time when I was in the situation of — should I try and struggle through the recovery process and play that season last year— I looked at the current longevity of my career and realized I was still young and if I took my time to recover and did it properly that I would potentially have an opportunity to come back, so I think it just means that I made the right decision,” he said.

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