- FREE AGENCY
CALGARY — Just two months ago, Calgary Stampeders receiver Kamar Jorden was in the process of recovering from knee surgery when his trainer told him he was ready to run for the first time in almost a year.
“Two months ago, my physio trainer, at that point I hadn’t ran at all, I hadn’t ran any routes,” Jorden told members of the media at the Western Semi-Final pre-game press conference on Saturday.
“That day I came and she told me ‘OK, we’re going to run’, I was like ‘what, I haven’t run at all’, I didn’t know what to do. When I ran I was running fast, It was a process, but once I ran, I knew there was a possibility I could give myself a chance.”
He worked tirelessly over that two month span to put himself in the position to start in Sunday’s Western Semi-Final against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Jorden had been at practice all week and on Friday he confirmed he was cleared by doctors to be able to play. The final decision was up to head coach Dave Dickenson and it was announced he would be starting on Saturday morning.
“This whole week really felt good to be honest,” said the pass-catcher. “Even before being announced to say I’m playing the game, to be back on the field with the team, to be practicing, to be in the huddle cracking jokes – that was the stuff you miss.”
“I hoped to get in this situation with the possibility to play in a game,” he continued. “I didn’t expect it, but I’m happy to be here. I’m ready to go.”
Jorden’s return to the field comes at a perfect time for the Stampeders as star receiver Eric Rogers will not play in Sunday’s contest.
The team’s other 1,000+ yard receiver, Reggie Begelton, will play and is excited to share the field with Jorden, something he has hardly done in their time in Calgary.
“I barely had a chance to actually be on the field at the same time as him,” said Begelton. “It makes me excited to see him on the field again. What he’s been through, that’s a hard thing to come from. I’m ready to see him play. He looked great. He’s fast, he’s Kamar.”
Before Jorden’s devastating knee injury that tore his MCL, PCL and ACL, the six-foot-three, 204-pounder had hauled in 55 passes for 944 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games. He was on pace for 1,699 yards, which would have put him at the top of the league in receiving, ahead of Edmonton’s Duke Williams (1,579).
“Every single day as we came out to practice, he was already working,” said Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. “Coaches started to notice it. I’m like, ‘we might get this guy back’. That’s a scary thought, to have some of the receivers we already have and to get KJ back. What I keep reminding everyone, everybody seems to have forgotten, this guy was the best receiver in the league before he went down.”
“One thing I do want to say about this guy,” Mitchell continued, pointing at Jorden who was sitting to his left. “There were three plays this week that I saw that I was like ‘he’s back, he’s ready to go.’ There was zero hesitation from him. One time falling on his knee, Another time as he was catching the ball on a curl route just turning and running up the field right away. He’s ready to go.”