Hughes finds benefits with cancelled CFL season

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“Nobody is ever 100 per cent in football,” he says. “You might feel like it, but you’re not 100 per cent because you’re always hurting somewhere. In football, sometimes you just end up coping with the pain.”

Hughes has also been impacted in a less positive manner by the coronavirus.

He hasn’t returned to his Michigan home and family since the pandemic started. He says he could travel into the United States, but wouldn’t be allowed back in Canada, where he’s working, due to the border being closed.

“Well, it sucks,” Hughes says. “I missed my daughter’s birthday (on Sunday).”

Hughes looked after Kylie, who turned 10, by sending her a special gift.

“She’s a soccer player and I got her an autographed soccer ball from Alex Morgan,” Hughes says. “She was pretty excited about that.”

Hughes has a lot to be excited about while on the field. He has led the CFL in sacks for four consecutive seasons, including the 16 he registered with the Riders in 2019 despite an ailing elbow.

Hughes, a six-time CFL all-star who won Grey Cups with Calgary in 2008 and 2014, has a career total of 130 sacks. Grover Covington, formerly of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, holds the CFL record of 157.

“It’s still on my target right now, so I’ve really got to keep shooting for it,” Hughes says. “If I keep aiming for it, I’ll get there.”

Hughes has joined forced with Riders defensive tackle Mak Henry to organize the Reggie City Freestyle Football Camp. Hughes and Henry are also working together as stonemasons while renovating yards in Regina.

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