Lumsden: I'm not saying no to football

TERRY KOSHAN. QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:52 PM ET

If the football gods are whispering to Jesse Lumsden that enough is enough, he’s not listening.

“It would be easy to quit and walk away and do something else,” Lumsden said on Wednesday, a few hours after the Edmonton Eskimos released him.

“But I don’t believe my time is done yet. I’m not saying no to football. I’m a football player.”

Whether Lumsden, who carried the ball exactly two times for Edmonton last year before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury against Winnipeg, returns to the Canadian Football League might not be his decision. It happens only if one of the other seven teams decides it’s worth signing a supreme talent who has had a once-promising pro career stunted by numerous injuries.

Since the Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected him sixth overall in 2005, Lumsden has played in just 31 games.

Would the Argonauts see fit to give Lumsden a look? Perhaps.

“We haven’t even discussed it yet,” head coach Jim Barker said. “It’s a discussion point, but there are so many things you have to take into account. He’s a good player. You would have to see where he fits.”

The Ticats reportedly aren’t interested in bringing back Lumsden, who said he believed there were no financial reasons for his release.

Lumsden has spent much of the off-season rehabilitating his surgically repaired left shoulder, and competed for Canada in bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics because the sport doesn’t involve contact.

But he has not yet been cleared for contact in football, and the Esks weren’t prepared to wait.

“This is disappointing on a number of levels,” Eskimos general manager Danny Maciocia said. “Jesse has worked hard to rehab the shoulder but he does not yet have medical clearance to play football. We felt he would be an excellent fit for the Eskimos.”

Lumsden will continue working out, but is not sure when he will be ready to play football. Though he left on good terms with Maciocia, Lumsden wasn’t thrilled with the Esks’ decision to set him free.

“It has been a very sleepless 24-36 hours,” Lumsden said. “Maybe I will put out some feelers (to other CFL clubs).

“It’s frustrating and it’s disappointing when you work so hard for something and it’s taken away in the snap of the fingers. The timing is the worst part. Being able to have a competitive release during the Olympics only drove me to get back on the field. This is the nasty part of the business.”


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