Nik takes time in Lew

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

At one point in his CFL career, Nik Lewis wanted to be called Geronimo.

Now, you could probably call the Calgary Stampeders receiver Plaxico.

With a partially torn ligament in his right knee, Lewis is taking practices off in order to get ready for games, the same way New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress did last year.

The move worked for Burress, who didn't participate in any practices but scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.

"You could call Nik Plaxico right now if you want," said fellow receiver and good friend Jeremaine Copeland.

"He's going to take some time off and make sure he's good to go during games. You want him at his best. You don't want him getting beaten up too much during practice.

"Like AI (Allen Iverson) said, 'This is practice. This ain't no game.' "

Lewis suffered the knee injury in a win over the Montreal Alouettes at McMahon Stadium two weeks ago.

He skipped workouts last week until getting into the workout two days before beating the Toronto Argonauts Saturday night.

Although he didn't run any meaningful routes the past two days, the fifth-year veteran will likely emerge today to get polished for Saturday's rematch in Toronto.

Although teammates don't mind having No. 82 standing around and resting his knee, Lewis can't stand it.

"I hate missing practice. I hate not being out there. But it's probably good for me to do this so I can play this week," Lewis said. "Plaxico didn't practice once all season ... that's not my style. You can't knock what he did because they did go win a championship without practising the whole year. I can't do that.

"I feel bad when guys are out there running and I'm not in there. It's especially tough when they get tired and I feel I should be out there working too, even being hurt. I hate not being in there."

Limited reps hardly hurt Lewis and his connection with QB Henry Burris last week against the Argos.

The slotback made 10 catches for 92 hard yards in the 34-4 victory at McMahon Stadium.

If he plays the rest of the season, Lewis would likely crack the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth straight year, which would break the record he shares with Travis Moore and Terry Vaughn. But Lewis could probably use a game off because rest is the best medicine for his injury. He just won't do that.

"I'm hoping after the first Saskatchewan game I can take most of that next week off," Lewis said about the Friday to following Monday break between that home-and-home series.

"We won't have it completely off but we won't practise much. Hopefully, I get a lot of rest that week and be ready to go."

Burris isn't worried about losing the rhythm he and Lewis have built over the past three-plus seasons just because the receiver takes a few workouts off. As long as Lewis shows up on game day ready to go, Burris doesn't mind.

"Nik is a warrior," Burris said. "People have said Nik is this or Nik is that, but when you see the heart he has and the intangibles he brings, as far as laying it on the line for his teammates, this organization and this city, people are starting to realize what type of guy this is ... He's matured and gives his all every game. When you have a guy on the same page as you every game, it's a hard tandem to stop."


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