Obby: The Force is with him

Obby Khan's retirement was short-lived after the Stampeders gave him a call following injuries....

Obby Khan's retirement was short-lived after the Stampeders gave him a call following injuries. (Jesse Johnston/QMI Agency/Files)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

CALGARY - For the past couple of months, Obby Khan was hungry to get back on the football field.

So he kept living life as if he was one of the hulking men in the CFL trenches.

Khan retired from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers April 25 with plans of opening a shawarma restaurant in Winnipeg, but he was still behaving like an offensive lineman.

He was lifting lots of weight and adding lots of weight.

“If I was completely done, I would have gone down to about 220 and not worried about having a heart attack every morning,” said the 290-lb. Khan, who answered the call from the Calgary Stampeders and joined the team officially Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t have eight cheese-burgers and pizzas every night. I wasn’t sitting there waiting for the phone to ring. I was working out as if the phone was going to ring. I didn’t miss (football) at all during training camp. I didn’t miss it much Week 1. As the season started going, I did miss it more and more. Every game I was watching, it was digging at me that I could still be playing.”

Eventually the phone rang, and now Khan joins a team that seemingly has a curse when it comes to its hoggies.

The Stamps picked up a key road win last week in Hamilton, but it came at a cost.

Left tackle Edwin Harrison will miss the next three games or so with a knee injury suffered late in that outing.

Fellow import Stanley Bryant, who was a scratch for all but two games this season, will move over to left tackle from his normal position on the right side to cover for Harrison.

Khan took part in his first practice with the Stamps on Tuesday, working at his natural centre position.

Instantly, Khan becomes the most veteran Stampeders offensive lineman with 118 regular-season games to his credit over nine seasons.

“It helps having a veteran guy around,” Harrison said. “You can never have too much experience, especially on the offensive line. He’s played a lot of football in the CFL.

“We were fortunate enough that he was able to come out of retirement and want to come back and give it a try. I thought he said he was done. It’s difficult to walk away from this game.”

When the Stamps play the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday at McMahon Stadium (5 p.m., TSN), they will again have a different formation among the five linemen.

The injury news in other areas isn’t good either, as halfback Brandon Smith will miss the game against the Argos with a shoulder injury.

In recent weeks, the Stamps have lost left guard Steve Myddelton and right tackle Na’Shan Goddard to long-term knee injuries — and now they’ve lost Harrison.

Khan provides insurance, even if he doesn’t dress immediately. The restaurant he was hoping to open was having delays anyway, and it now appears it will open following the season.

Although he was basically pushed into retirement when it was clear the Bombers didn’t want him anymore, the Ottawa native doesn’t hold any ill-will towards that organization.

“I don’t have anything to prove to the Bombers at all,” said the 31-year-old Khan. “I had a great six-year career there.

“I have something to prove to myself that I can still play. This game isn’t about anybody else. It’s about how hard you push yourself. I get the drive from within.”

On Twitter: @SUNIanBusby


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