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Elimimian sidesteps questions about his CFL future

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The Canadian Press
9/15/2012 8:24:29 PM
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VANCOUVER -- Solomon Elimimian is glad to be back with the B.C. Lions, but how long he stays still remains to be seen.

The middle linebacker met reporters for the first time since returning to the CFL club this week after unsuccessful attempts to make the NFL's Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns.

"I look at the positives of things," he said Saturday before the Lions hosted the Toronto Argonauts at B.C. Place Stadium. "That (NFL experience) is in the past, and right now the present is to play for the B.C. Lions. Whatever that (role) is, I'll do the best I can."

Elimimian, the CFL's rookie of the year in 2010 and a league all-star last season, signed with Minnesota in the off-season but was cut in the pre-season and later joined Cleveland's practice roster but was quickly released.

Since leaving B.C. after helping the Lions win the 2011 Grey Cup, he has been displaced in the centre of the B.C. defence by Adam Bighill, who ranks among the league leaders in tackles.

According to CFL roster rules, the Lions have until Monday, the fifth day since Elimimian rejoined the team, to make a decision on him. His return means the Lions face the difficult decision of whether to replace Bighill. Coach Mike Benevides and defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler do not appear to be in a rush to do so.

Elimimian, who suffered a hamstring injury with the Vikings, watched Saturday's game in street clothes and Benevides admitted he postponed the new arrival's media availability so that he would not be a distraction.

Stressing that he and Bighill are close and have stayed in contact all season, Elimimian wished the best for the second-year Lion.

"I hope Adam continues to have a great season. ... If he keeps going, he could be defensive player of the year," said Elimimian, adding he just hopes to do his best when he gets on the field.

One option could be to place Elimimian on the injured list. When asked about the state of his hamstring, Elimimian replied with a terse: "No comment."

The team has indicated it will evaluate his injury before he returns to practice.

Elimimian, who is in the option year of his Lions contract, also sidestepped the question of whether he would be a Lion next year, but added he still believes he can play in the NFL.

"I don't look past this week," Elimimian said. "I can't control the future. I don't predict the future. I thought things were going to be different. That's why I'm here. In terms of what's going to happen next week, or next year, it's beyond me. I'm just happy to be here. I really am happy to be here."

For now.

Solomon Elimimian (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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