Nik itchin' for T.O. TD

Nik Lewis has yet to hit the endzone heading into tomorrow night's game in Toronto. (Sun Media/Lyle...

Nik Lewis has yet to hit the endzone heading into tomorrow night's game in Toronto. (Sun Media/Lyle Aspinall)

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

TORONTO -- There is one stat that sticks out for No. 82 right now.

Zero.

Even with missing a game due to injury, Nik Lewis is on pace for a sixth straight 1,000-yard season, but until the Calgary Stampeders slotback hits the endzone, he is way behind in the most important category.

Through seven games (six in which he has played), Lewis sits second on the team with 27 catches for 417 yards, but he has yet to hit paydirt heading into tomorrow night's game in Toronto against the Argonauts.

It's kind of like having the appetizer but then skipping the main course.

"I've had one opportunity (in the endzone)," Lewis said.

"I should have made the catch. I was held a little bit. It doesn't matter ...

"I was pumped up for Ben Cahoon last week when he got his, so maybe this is my week to get one.

"I never press. It's going to come."

There was much made of Cahoon's first TD reception last week for the Montreal Alouettes and how the veteran slotback was way overdue.

If Lewis waits any longer, he will be getting all the attention, but that's something he is already dealing with from opposing defences.

In a 38-35 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos just before the bye week, Lewis had his best game of the season, making seven grabs for 132 yards.

But once the Eskimos focused on double-covering Lewis, Jeremaine Copeland was left with man coverage and he went to work on an 11-catch, 182-yard, two-touchdown performance that earned him offensive player-of-the-week honours.

Copeland has six touchdowns and is getting all the credit in picking up the slack after the loss of Ken-Yon Rambo, but it really is a team effort.

"Cope's doing a real good job of adjusting to the ball and making plays," Lewis said.

"When he can do that, he's hot and we have to go to him. I don't mind."

Although Lewis was vocal about not getting enough red-zone passes a few weeks ago, that noise quieted down as the Stampeders offence got their aerial attack going against the Eskimos.

The key for quarterback Henry Burris was not trying to target No. 82 or anyone else.

"We've given him a couple of chances," Burris said about Lewis.

"He doesn't want to score. That's the bottom line. He wants Teyo (Johnson) and Cope to have all the glory.

"We will give him a chance to score in those situations but we won't force things. Our hot hand has been Cope. Nik had a bunch of yards last game but we are going where the defence leads us."

Although Johnson has only made seven receptions this season, two of those were for touchdowns. Teyo just catches touchdowns after Lewis and others get the team into scoring position.

"He's the Cris Carter and I'm the Keyshawn Johnson," Lewis said.

"I might have 111 catches, 1,300 yards and one touchdown. I will be a good Keyshawn Johnson."

Right now, Lewis is on pace for 1,180 yards if he continues to make every start.

He missed Week 4 against the B.C. Lions or else his numbers would be much better.

But he knows he won't get much respect as a receiver unless he scores majors.

"I've never been an all-star," Lewis said.

"Will that mess up my Hall-of-Fame status? If I'm never an all-star, would I be the first Hall-of-Famer who was never one?

"It's incredible to be No. 2 in the league and not get recognized by that.

"It's a shame we judge players off stats alone."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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