Burris feels Dickenson's pain

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Broken bones and torn ligaments mend.

Brain injuries, warns Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris, are a much more grave concern for the men targeted by sack-hungry CFL defenders.

Burris is concerned for the well-being of old friend Dave Dickenson, who is expected to watch from the sidelines tomorrow night when the B.C. Lions host the Stamps.

"It's sad to see him in that situation," said Burris, Dickenson's teammate in Calgary for three seasons (1997-99).

"It's sad to see a great quarterback and a friend not have a chance to come back and play the game he loves so much.

"He's a fighter, so I know it must be frustrating not being able to go out there and give it his all."

A blow by Montreal's Ed Philion Sept. 16 forced Dickenson's head onto the turf at B.C. Place Stadium. It apparently brought on symptoms similar to what Dickenson experienced a year ago when he suffered a severe concussion playing against Saskatchewan.

While Dickenson is one of the top quarterbacks to play in the CFL, he has been criticized for a style more aggressive and physical than his 5-ft. 11-in., 190-lb. body will allow. The 33-year-old has also been plagued by shoulder, knee and ankle injuries dating back to his days in Calgary.

"Dave's a great talent and I've love to see him be able to play for a long time still," Burris said.

"It's sad to see something like this possibly end his career."

Burris said he has never suffered a serious head injury in his 10 seasons.

"Thankfully not, although I've had my bell rung a few times," Burris said. "Every athlete's had an area of injuries -- for me it's been knees -- but with Dave it's been his head and that's sad to see.

"We keep in touch and we're real close. We have the same agent and we grew close, especially here (in the late '90s). I was tutored by both him and Jeff (Garcia) during their days here. We all became close, even though now that he's in Vancouver, we don't talk as much as we used to."

Dickenson is expected to step aside for tomorrow night's crucial matchup with backup QB Buck Pierce expected to start for B.C.


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