CALGARY - John Bender has a permanent reminder on his leg of his rookie-season struggles.
In training camp, the Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman had an innocent looking scrape that got infected. It eventually blew up the point where he needed to spend 15 days on a 24-hour IV.
The problem is similar to a staph infection but it’s called cellulitis because it’s under the skin. It all started from a hair follicle.
“I didn’t even think it would be two weeks,” said Bender, who finally returned to practice at McMahon Stadium Monday. “When they first put me on the IV, they were saying a couple of days, but it wasn’t getting better as fast as they thought it would.
“I kept looking at the schedule and thinking, ‘What week can I be back for?’ I never thought it would be after the bye week. Definitely not.”
The Stamps were forced to drop Bender from the practice roster, but he was added back this week. He can only hope the two months away didn’t stump his professional development.
“It’s been eight weeks and that’s the longest time I’ve ever been away from football,” said the Cochrane High School product. “I hope in the future that never happens again. That was a long two months.”