The first thought is to push 2015 out of sight, out of mind. And then to mercifully have that nightmarish season just fade quickly in his own rear-view mirror.
Onward and upward… you know the drill.
Except there was a lot about last year that Addison Richards will cherish for his lifetime, like being drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, playing in his first Canadian Football League game, and pulling in his first catch.
And, yes, there was a whole lot of bad, too.
There was the hamstring injury early on that ruined what was a spectacular training camp. There was the quadriceps injury that was related to the hamstring injury that, it turns out, was all part of a torn labrum in his hip that needed to be fixed with surgery last fall.
“They got in there and cleaned up the debris and then re-anchored it in place,” began Richards. “It was a wear-and-tear thing not related to any specific incident.
“You know, I have the highest expectations for myself. Getting drafted here was exciting, I was so excited to become a Blue Bomber. And then getting here to camp… Day 2 or 3 I’m already out two weeks with a hamstring injury. I fight back from that, start to get a little bit of playing time and get my first catch, all of which is exciting.
“And then ‘Boom!’ it’s done after Week 6 and I’m sitting on the sideline watching.”
And so the 2015 stat line for Richards hardly had fans thinking he was the next Joe Poplawski: five games played; one catch for 12 yards.
But while the Bombers are letting Richards ease back into the football groove after a winter of rehab, they still have their fingers crossed the 6-4, 194-pound former University of Regina star – he led the country in receiving yards in his draft year – can morph into a receiving threat for Drew Willy & Co.
Bombers coach Mike O’Shea said the increase in Richards’ comfort level since camp began is now showing up on film.
Nobody plans to get injured, it just happens. You can’t put that on yourself. You just have to realize that if you put the work in to come back and give everything you have then you can live with it, even if it doesn’t work out.
“Just knowing I could get back this year and I could compete in camp was all I needed for motivation.
“I’m a 100 percent,” he added. “The offseason was about getting healthy, it wasn’t necessarily about working on football specifics. The first couple of days of camp… Day 1 was an adjustment but now it’s starting to come and I’m feeling comfortable moving around and getting into the flow of the offence.
“My goal is just getting better every day, that’s been my approach since high school. Learn something, work at something, get better at something.”
(Winnipeg Blue Bombers)