Stamps, Esks all-stars nurse nagging injuries
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
|Nik Lewis runs happily with the ball during a Calgary Stampeders football practice at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Wednesday, October 5, 2011. (LYLE ASPINALL/QMI Agency)
Nik Lewis didn’t practice Thursday, but he points to his personal history as an example of why that fact doesn’t matter.
“Did you see the way I played in Toronto? Wow, I thought we covered this,” Lewis said with a laugh about sitting out practices with the flu and scoring a touchdown against the Argos Oct. 14.
As the Calgary Stampeders get set to face the Edmonton Eskimos in Sunday’s West semifinal, both teams have question marks with offensive all-stars.
Lewis tweaked a leg injury in Wednesday’s practice, left early and watched from the sidelines Thursday.
Eskimos running back Jerome Messam skipped his team’s session Wednesday but returned to the field Thursday on a somewhat limited basis.
The Stamps believe Lewis will play Sunday at Commonwealth Stadium, and they also believe there is no chance Messam sits out.
“They will play him,” Stamps linebacker Juwan Simpson said. “They basically have to. He’s their go-to guy.”
At first, the Eskimos said Messam had the flu, but it was revealed Thursday he tweaked a leg injury in Monday’s practice.
Practice was tough on Lewis as well, but he characterized his injury as more nagging than anything else.
“I’ve been a lot worse than this going into games,” said Lewis, who picked up his third West Division all-star award Thursday.
“If I don’t feel like I can’t go, I don’t want to hurt the team.
“Of course, you always want to practice, especially with Drew (Tate, the starting quarterback) only being in three games. You want to be able to practice and get on a better page with him, so the offence can go out and click.”
Being that Lewis has come off a week when he’s questionable and performed well in the game, is he worried Messam could do the same thing?
“He could, but he’s not Nik Lewis,” Lewis said. “He’s Jerome Messam. I think there is a big difference in that statement. He’s a good running back. I’m great.”
The Stamps will make some other lineup moves this week, including the possibility of bringing Malik Jackson off the nine-game injured list.
Jackson lost his starting linebacker job Oct. 8 and was eventually put on the IR after being a scratch for a couple of weeks.
When Sean Ware suffered a torn ACL in the season-finale, the Stamps needed a replacement, and the veteran fits the bill. Bringing him back early from the nine-game list means offensive lineman Steve Myddelton and fullback Tim St. Pierre are unavailable throughout the post-season.
“I’m not really into the ins and outs in terms of the roster,” Jackson said. “I’m just focusing on knowing I’m going to be ready. I’m watching film for a big game. This is win or go home. I’m focused on the field.
“Nothing in the past matters because we have a game.”