SURREY — Stefan Logan had no idea the B.C. Lions’ running game had fallen on hard times when he contacted his old employer looking for work.
The diminutive running back/kick returner spent the last four seasons in the NFL, but didn’t get invited to a training camp this year after being cut by the Detroit Lions.
That’s when Logan, who played for B.C. in 2008 and was working out on his own, reached out to Lions general manager Wally Buono.
“It was just one of those times where I knew I was older and I didn’t want to sit there and be waiting, waiting, waiting,” said Logan, who was on the field with his new teammate Tuesday after being added to the practice roster. “I didn’t want to sit there and just be waiting — waiting for a team to call.”
The team that Logan called is one with a ground attack in shambles.
After B.C. running back Andrew Harris rushed for just 10 yards in a 31-17 home loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Oct. 4, Buono told reporters at practice: “Our running game, at this point, is almost non-existent.”
Only one playoff spot remains, but there’s still plenty of jostling for position left to do. Check out the Week 17 Playoff Scenarios here.
Despite both coaches and players saying all the right things last week about a rededication to running to the football, Harris followed that up with just 31 yards on nine carries in Friday’s 40-26 defeat to the Stampeders in Calgary.
The Lions have not had a 100-yard rusher since Harris gained 107 yards in a 38-12 loss to the Toronto Argonauts on July 30 — a span of 10 games.
During that time Harris has rushed for 10 yards twice, to go along with totals of 19, 27 and 38.
Logan said he was unaware of the poor numbers, adding that he contacted the Lions because they were the only CFL team he had interest in playing for.
“I didn’t even look at any of the stats. Nothing,” said the 32-year-old. “I just knew that when I talked to my agent and talked to my family, I said, ‘If I go back to Canada, I want to go back to the B.C. Lions.’
“They were familiar with me, I was familiar with them. Still got some of the same guys that were here (from 2008). Once I called them, I was like, ‘Hey I want to come back over there and play.”‘
Logan rushed for 889 yards during his previous stint with B.C., while also contributing 477 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also made an impact on special teams, returning 12 punts for 126 yards, and adding 266 yards on nine kick returns.
After his inaugural season in the CFL, Logan headed south to join the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he spent one year before joining Detroit for three more campaigns.
“He’s obviously still got it. It’s an exciting thing,” said Lions quarterback Thomas DeMarco. “Management seems to think it’s a good decision to bring him in and I can see why.”
B.C. head coach Mike Benevides said he doesn’t know if Logan will suit up for Saturday’s game when the Lions travel to Saskatchewan to take on the Roughriders in a key West Division matchup.
One thing Benevides is sure of is Logan’s desire.
“The biggest thing about Stefan is just his passion for the game,” said Benevides. “He just loves the game. He loves being here, and he loves this place and that’s why he chose to come here.
“Right now we’re going to do everything we can to win, because we’ve got to win.”
Logan said he will do whatever is asked of him by a Lions team looking to snap a two-game slide that has them in danger of falling out of the running to host a home playoff game.
“If we’re struggling at running the ball, I want to help,” said Logan, who was named to the 2010 NFC Pro Bowl team as an alternate. “If we’re struggling at catching the ball out of the backfield, I want to be able to help.
“I’m not coming in to be cocky or anything like that, I just want to come in and help us win and go to the playoffs and win a Grey Cup.”