CALGARY - Edwin Harrison worked hard to get ready for a move to left tackle, and suddenly, his left pectoral gave out.
“I don’t think that had anything to do with it,” the Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman said with a laugh.
“That was my body’s choice and not mine.”
Just about a week before he was due to report for training camp, Harrison suffered a torn pectoral muscle during a normal training session.
It could sideline him for up to a month of the regular season, so the sophomore didn’t even attend the first part of training camp.
The 26-year-old finally arrived in Calgary Friday, watching the practices from the sidelines and wishing he could be out smacking shoulder pads.
At home in Houston, Texas, for the past month, all the 6-foot-4, 308-pounder could do was cardio work to keep in shape.
There is nothing he can do about his upper-body strength.
And now that he’s in Calgary, Harrison can get up to speed on the offence and mentally go through the motions even if he can’t physically compete.
But after two practices Friday, Harrison already has the itch.
“They didn’t want me to come up during camp because it’s one of those things … out of sight, out of mind,” Harrison said. “At home, you really don’t think about it as much.
“Here, I see it every day how I will want to be out there. I’m the kind of guy I hate feeling like I’m not valuable or useful. I hate feeling like I’m holding a place here.”
Harrison stepped into the void left last season by the retirement of veteran Jeff Pilon and performed admirably. The Colorado product was the team’s nominee for top rookie being that he started 15 games at right tackle.
When the Stamps let Ben Archibald go to free agency, where he signed with the B.C. Lions, it was with the thought Harrison would be a suitable replacement for the CFL’s most outstanding lineman.
He still may be the player who starts the majority of games at left tackle this season, but he will be on the sidelines to start it.
The injury is a tricky one in that the muscle pulled away from the tendon, which didn’t allow for a quick fix in surgery.
“The most frustrating thing is I’ve been speaking with the doctors and nobody can really give me a true timeline,” Harrison said.
“If they had to fix it, then they would be able to tell me because they would know what to expect. With this, since it has to heal on its own, you can’t really expect anything because everyone is different.”
Luckily for Harrison, he’s a quick healer. During last year’s pre-season, he went down with what immediately looked like a horrible knee injury. He came back for the season opener.
With three games remaining, he suffered a sprained ankle but managed to be ready for the season finale, although he didn’t play.
“It’s disappointing, but this is life,” Harrison said. “The question is how you deal with it. I’m dealing with it.”