Game time for Lumsden

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:51 PM ET

Four hundred and seventy-seven days later, Jesse Lumsden is ready to prove ’em wrong.

Written off as too fragile to thrive on the football field, the part-time bobsledder

is anxious to show everybody his gridiron career is back on track.

All indications are Lumsden will make his first appearance in Red & White in Friday’s meeting with the B.C. Lions at McMahon Stadium (8 p.m., TSN, QR77).

And no, he’s not worried about his first bone-crunching collision. Thanks for asking, though.

“I know what hitting people is like,” Lumsden told a throng of reporters after Thursday’s walkthrough at McMahon Stadium.

“I don’t know if you know what it’s like, but I know what hitting people is like. I know the feeling. I know what to expect. I know what I can do.

“In the sport of football, there is a sort of uncontrolled chaos, but I’m prepared for everything that I know I can do.”

If you need a refresher, Lumsden is the uber-talented ball-carrier that has shown flashes of brilliance in parts of five CFL seasons, but has been repeatedly tackled by the injury bug.

The former McMaster University standout was limited to 30 games in four campaigns with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and also had health concerns in NFL tryouts with the Washington Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks.

In his first regular-season outing with the Edmonton Eskimos last summer, the prized free-agent signing was tackled by former Winnipeg Blue Bombers linebacker and current Stamps teammate Siddeeq Shabazz and suffered a dislocated shoulder.

He hasn’t been under the bright lights since, besides a pair of fifth-place bobsledding finishes at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

After a month on Calgary’s practice roster, the 28-year-old is undoubtedly anxious to take some meaningful snaps.

Lumsden likely won’t be a part of the offence but was working with the return units during Thursday’s walkthrough at McMahon Stadium, a sure sign that — even though nobody wants to confirm it — he’ll be on Friday’s lineup sheet.

There’s no way to shy away from physical contact on special teams.

When the Lions’ cover guys are storming down the field, it’s Lumsden’s job to block their path.

And he can’t wait.

“Part of the physical rehab is also mental rehab,” Lumsden said. “You prepare yourself to be mentally stronger than you were before, and that’s really a lot of the battle. The hard work, the sweat, the physio, that’s been done. It’s about preparing myself mentally to go out there and whack some people.

“I feel very, very good. If the coaches came up to me and said ‘How do you feel? Are you ready to go?’ I know mentally now, in my mind, yes I am.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/WesGilbertson


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