Big workload gets running back in the game

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

REGINA -- Despite being out of football for three years, football is just like riding a bike to Derek Watson.

"But it's a mountain bike. A real steep climb," said the Calgary Stampeders running back following a 27-19 pre-season victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The South Carolina State product was brought into training camp last Friday after an injury to veteran Jon Cornish, and he was thrown into action.

Although he finished with 78 yards on 13 carries, Watson also fumbled on his third carry.

It's to be expected for a player who hasn't played since getting released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I was just nervous," said the 28-year-old CFL rookie. "I was thinking too much not wanting to mess up. I wanted to do well and I didn't feel like I had my legs back. It felt good for the most part."

After entering at halftime, Watson took the handoff from Drew Tate for his first carry and promptly powered for 10 yards. On the second drive, Watson had rushes of four, 14, six and 20 before getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage on the Saskatchewan 23-yard line. He came off winded from the workload.

"It's been a while in terms of getting back in football shape, putting the pads on and hitting," Watson said.

"It was pretty tiring on a long drive like that."


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