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VANCOUVER — Adding extra sting to a 26-22 loss Saturday night to the BC Lions, the Stamps saw veteran slotback and offensive leader Nik Lewis go down with a leg injury before the half.
The injury was later confirmed by Stampeders general manager and head coach John Hufnagel as a fractured fibula and he expects Lewis to be out for about six weeks.
As Lewis tried to separate himself from Lions linebacker Soloman Elimimian, his leg caught under the falling defender and twisted in a way that called for broadcasters to give warning to viewers prior to the replay.
“It was a big blow,” lamented veteran pivot Kevin Glenn. “It was very emotional for a guy like that, a leader on the team, to go down. I didn’t actually see it, but some guys who saw it said it didn’t look good.”
“I felt something right away,” said Lewis in his post-game scrum with reporters. “But I’ve never had an injury like that before.
“I’m not going to let this take me out of my role on this team. I’m still going to continue to help. Now my goal is to help our guys week in and week out to win, nothing changes.”
For his part, Lewis’ offensive teammate Jon Cornish hopes he’ll see the durable receiver back.
“Nik is a vital part of our team and to see such a leader and playmaker go down is less than ideal. Hopefully he can come back for the end of the season,” said Cornish.
To his credit as an ultimate competitor, Lewis joined his team on the sidelines midway through the third quarter on crutches as the appreciative BC crowd applauded his resilience.
His presence wasn’t enough to will the Red and White to a second half comeback victory, but it gave Lewis some early experience as to his role over the next while as he recovers.
“Mentally I’m still going to be a part of the process to try and help this team achieve our goal; just physically I can’t do that right now.”