Lumsden returns to CFL

CALGARY — Jesse Lumsden is easing back into the CFL.

CALGARY — Jesse Lumsden is easing back into the CFL.

The Canadian-born tailback joined the Calgary Stampeders’ practice roster Tuesday. Lumsden hasn’t played football since injuring his shoulder in the Edmonton Eskimos’ season-opening game last year.

But while he was seen as a franchise player in his previous stops in Hamilton and Edmonton, Lumsden says his situation in Calgary is a lot different.

“My role is different than it was in the past, but it’s about wanting to play football.” the 28-year-old said Tuesday after his first practice wearing the red and white. “This is the role I’m accepting and enjoying because I’m back on the football field.”

The Edmonton native has generally been considered one of the CFL’s best running backs when healthy, but that’s been an issue during his career.

He played one game for Edmonton last season, running for five yards on two carries and three receptions for 20 yards before suffering the season-ending shoulder injury.

Before signing as a free agent with the Eskimos, Lumsden played 19 games over his final two seasons in Hamilton because of consecutive season-ending shoulder surgeries. The six-foot-three, 228-pound tailback also battled knee and ankle injuries with the Tiger-Cats.

While rehabilitating his most recent shoulder surgery, he caught on with the national bobsleigh team. Lumsden was a brakeman for pilot Pierre Lueders at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where they finished fifth in the two-man and four-man events.

Edmonton released Lumsden prior to training camp this year. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made an offer to Lumsden, but he turned that down to go Calgary, which is also where the national bobsled team trains.

However, because of his long layoff from the sport, Lumsden is an unknown quantity in football right now. So he’s keeping his options open in bobsleigh.

“It’s not a secret that I’m a two-sport athlete now,” Lumsden said. “I’m going to continue to slide. Not only is home base for bobsleigh here, but Calgary is a place that I can see myself after football, which I did take into consideration.

“I have come out to Calgary for a couple of bobsleigh camps for physical testing camps, but I let them know football is my priority. It’s something we’re going to have to look into in terms of my scheduling. I’m not making any promises, but I’m going to work to be the best in both.”

There’s no pressure on Lumsden to make an immediate impact with the Stampeders, who are already deep at running back. Joffrey Reynolds recently became the club’s all-time rushing leader while Canadian Jon Cornish has shown to be a more than capable backup.

What’s more, Calgary (9-2) is atop the West Division standings and sports the CFL’s best record.

Calgary head coach-GM John Hufnagel wouldn’t define Lumsden’s signing as insurance against injury to either Reynolds or Cornish, but that is a possible scenario.

“I think we have to find out things about Jesse and he has a lot to learn,” Hufnagel said. “I didn’t bring Jesse in expecting him to be in the lineup in the near future, but if he was called upon at this time, he’s just like every other person that’s on the practice roster.

“They need to be prepared to play if needed.”

Lumsden was selected in the first round, sixth overall, by Hamilton in the 2005 CFL Canadian college draft. He appeared in 30 games over four seasons with the Ticats, rushing for 1,797 yards and nine TDs on 185 carries while registering 49 catches for 630 yards and two touchdowns before joining Edmonton in 2009.

Lumsden captured the Hec Crighton Trophy as Canadian university football’s top player in 2004 and left McMaster as the all-time leading rusher in Ontario conference history.

“He’s probably one of the best athletes I’ve ever met that were Canadian actually,” Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris said. “Probably the greatest ever.

“The biggest thing he is going to have to do is be patient. (This) was something he felt was a good option for him right now, to get himself ready, get his body right, get his mind right, get back into the swing of things and the world wasn’t on his shoulders. It’s a good situation for him coming to a team that’s doing some good things.”

Lumsden says playing behind Reynolds and Cornish is a situation similar to his early university career at McMaster where he was a third-stringer behind Kojo Aidoo and Kyle Pyear.

“Now I’m coming into the same situation here with Joffrey and Jon, both great running backs,” Lumsden said. “I’m always learning.”


Dan Ralph in Toronto contributed to this report.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This unicorn was stolen from the small community of Delia, northeast of Drumheller on Friday and was recovered, with its bronze horn broken off, on Saturday. RCMP are looking for information on the suspects.
(Photo from RCMP)
Unicorn statue stolen from Delia recovered

Statue found with horn broken off in field about 15 km from Delia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Liberals to release federal budget with eye on managing crisis, post-pandemic growth

OTTAWA — The federal government will this afternoon unveil its spending plans… Continue reading

Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Correctional Service Canada says three inmates at Fraser Valley Institution recently tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Drumheller Institution inmate dies in custody

Inmate’s April 15 death under investigation

In this image from NASA, NASA's experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s experimental helicopter Ingenuity rose into the thin… Continue reading

In this August 21, 1994 file photo, Rwandan Hutus give the departing French troops the thumbs-up as the French army pull out of Cyangugu, in southwest Rwanda. A report commissioned by the Rwandan government due to be made public on Monday, April 19, 2021 concludes that the French government bears "significant" responsibility for "enabling a foreseeable genocide" that left more than 800,000 dead in 1994 and that that France "did nothing to stop" the massacres. (AP Photo/Jean Marc Bouju, File)
Rwanda report blames France for ‘enabling’ the 1994 genocide

PARIS — The French government bears “significant” responsibility for “enabling a foreseeable… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Will Japanese Olympians be vaccinated ahead of the public?

TOKYO — The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with… Continue reading

PSG's Kylian Mbappe, right, greets Bayern's Lucas Hernandez at the end of the Champions League, second leg, quarterfinal soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG, Bayern the big names missing from Super League plan

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The plan for the new Super League soccer competition… Continue reading

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Marion Cotillard, left, and Brad Pitt appear in a scene from "Allied." (Daniel Smith/Paramount Pictures via AP)
Leo Carax’s ‘Annette’ to open Cannes Film Festival

Leo Carax’s “Annette,” starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, will open the… Continue reading

From left, Producer Doug Mitchell, actor Chris Hemsworth and director George Miller attend at a press conference to announce the new "Mad Max" film at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, Monday, April 19, 2021. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)
‘Mad Max’ prequel shot in Outback to be released in 2023

SYDNEY, Australia — A prequel to the “Mad Max” movie franchise starring… Continue reading

In this Feb. 1, 2021 file photo, emissions from a coal-fired power plant are silhouetted against the setting sun in Independence, Mo. President Joe Biden faces a vexing task as he convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday. He is expected to present a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact not only on climate change efforts in the U.S. but throughout the world. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears

WASHINGTON — When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on… Continue reading

Women wearing masks wait near an advertisement ahead of the Auto Shanghai 2021 show in Shanghai on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Automakers from around the world are showcasing their latest products this week in the world's biggest market for auto vehicles. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
VW, Ford unveil SUVs at China auto show under virus controls

SHANGHAI — Volkswagen, Ford and Chinese brands unveiled new SUVs for China… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

Most Read