Stamps' Lumsden back in saddle

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:46 PM ET

Calgary Stampeders ball-carrier Jesse Lumsden lowered his shoulder and plowed into a would-be tackler, and moments later, training staff was being summoned onto the turf at McMahon Stadium.

Except this time, the bruising fullback was already back in the huddle.

It was safety Dylan Barker, his former Hamilton Tiger-Cats teammate, that required medical attention after the bone-rattling crash.

“That’s the way I’ve always played. That was just my first reaction,” Lumsden shrugged after Friday’s 55-24 thumping of the Tiger-Cats. “I hope he’s alright. I never want to hurt anybody, but football is a collision sport. He’s a tough kid. I’m sure he’s gonna bounce back.”

In the past, Lumsden hasn’t always popped up from those sort of smash-ups.

The non-import ball-carrier had been dogged by injuries in five previous CFL seasons, including shoulder surgery in three consecutive campaigns.

After Thursday’s walkthrough, Stamps boss John Hufnagel told reporters Lumsden wouldn’t see any offensive touches until the coaching staff was “comfortable his shoulder is ready to sustain that type of hitting.”

He certainly passed the first test.

After bowling over Barker for an 11-yard gain on his first rushing attempt in almost two full seasons, the Stamps didn’t wait long to get the ball back in his mitts.

Then again. And then once more.

On his fourth consecutive rushing attempt, Lumsden spotted some wide-open space and rumbled for a 13-yard major, tripping over his own feet and skidding for the last three yards or so.

“I’ve never fallen into the endzone before,” he said afterward. “And I never want to do it again.”

It might not have been the most highlight-worthy touchdown of his career, but Lumsden’s four-carry cameo against the Tiger-Cats likely reminded some fans of, um, Jesse Lumsden.

As the 28-year-old held court at his locker after the game, Stamps slotback Nik Lewis — no stranger to high-speed collisions — wandered past and praised the performance of the part-time bobsledder.

“Good job, Jesse,” Lewis said. “It’s good to have you back. It’s official.”

Lumsden was also feeling like his old self.

“As soon as I got the ball in my hands, it felt natural again, which was important,” he said. “Overall, it was a great feeling.”

Lumsden registered four carries for 40 yards and a touchdown, finishing as Calgary’s leading rusher in Friday’s pass-happy contest.

He also tripped up Ticats speedster Marcus Thigpen on a second-quarter kickoff return, marking his first special-teams tackle in a Stamps uniform.

While starting quarterback Henry Burris was talking after the game about the possibility of a “three-headed monster” at running back, Lumsden knows solid special-teams work is key to keeping his spot in the lineup.

Serving as a sidekick for Joffrey Reynolds and Jon Cornish is just a bonus.

“Joffrey and Jon are the guys,” Lumsden said. “I know my role on this team right now, and I’m just going to continue to work at getting better at special teams, making tackles and making blocks, and if I get the opportunity to carry the ball, I’ll take advantage of it.”


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