Stamps hope to have Lewis

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:35 PM ET

CALGARY - Throughout his seven-year career, Nik Lewis has played through all sorts of injuries, so this is nothing new.

Although Lewis first feared a knee injury suffered Friday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders might keep him out the season, an MRI revealed just a strain and no tears to ligaments.

So it's not even as bad as a knee problem he suffered in 2008. At that time, the bull of a slotback didn't miss a game and only had surgery to fix torn ligaments in December of last year.

With that news, Lewis isn't even ruled out yet of Saturday's home date against the B.C. Lions.

"You know you aren't going to be healthy for 18 games," said Lewis after Sunday's rundown. "If we feel like I make the team better this week, I will be out there. If I don't, then I won't."

Lewis said he got hurt in the third quarter of Friday's 43-37 loss in Regina but played on because of the importance the game to the 9-2 Stamps.

When offered the notion that maybe he should take some time off because his team's place in the standings, Lewis wouldn't hear of it.

"Everything is must-win," Lewis said. "We hate to lose. Every game is a must-win. We have a goal and we're setting the standard.

"One monkey doesn't stop a show. We're going to keep pushing forward and keep winning. That's our standard."

The Stamps have options if Lewis can't play.

They could play Canadian Jabari Arthur in that slotback position, or activate Jermaine Jackson from the practice roster.

Lewis has only missed two games in his career, one as a healthy scratch in 2007 and the other due to a hip injury last season against the B.C. Lions.

Jackson played in Lewis' spot last season in Vancouver and performed well enough to help the team to a huge victory. It was coincidentally the game in which Ken-Yon Rambo suffered a season-ending knee injury.

The Stamps have actually done well without Lewis, as they won both of those games convincingly.

Stamps head coach John Hufnagel knows Lewis will play through all types of injuries and he won't rush him.

"Everybody plays with some hurts," Hufnagel said. "He's a tough competitor. If he's able to get a practice in and show he can play, there's always a possibility.

"I'm a coach who always goes caution on the side of the player.

"We won't make a decision today. We will allow a few days and see where we are at by the end of the week."

Lewis is in the midst of his finest CFL season and that's saying something being that he's hit the 1,000-yard mark in six straight campaigns.

In 11 games, Lewis has 61 catches for 809 yards and six touchdowns. He leads the league in yards after catch, showing again how tough he is to bring down by shaking off tackles constantly.

The knee injury will certainly hurt that ability, although he feels like he can recover.

"I'm not concerned," Lewis said. "The work I put in during the off-season means I have pretty strong legs. It's a little different than others. My legs are built so that it protected more than others.

"(At the time), it was scary for me to know the hard work I put in and it could have been so much worse. To think I could have missed the rest of the season was scary for me."


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