Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell throws the ball against the Toronto Argonauts during CFL football action in Calgary on August 7, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Mitchell resumes practising with Calgary Stampeders after coming off injured list

Mitchell resumes practising with Calgary Stampeders after coming off injured list

And now the waiting begins for Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders.

The veteran starter resumed practising with the CFL club Thursday, a day after it took Mitchell off the six-game injured list.

Calgary put the two-time CFL MVP on the injured list following its 15-9 loss to B.C. on Aug 12 after Mitchell suffered a fractured fibula in the club’s season-opening 23-20 loss to Toronto on Aug. 7.

Neither Mitchell nor the Stampeders knew the extent of the injury before the B.C. contest.

“I feel good,” Mitchell told reporters during videoconference Thursday. “It felt good to get out there and actually get to practise a little bit.

“That was nice. I’m glad they were willing to take me off the six-game so I could kind of move around and see how it felt.”

But Mitchell did not declare he’ll be ready to play Monday when Calgary (1-3) hosts Edmonton (1-2) in the annual Labour Day contest at McMahon Stadium.

“Yeah, I hope,” he said. “It’s completely up to how it reacts.

“Being off I have to make sure it doesn’t react poorly because I don’t want to go out and put our team in the same situation I did the second game of the season.”

Rookie Jake Maier has started Calgary’s past two games, having posted a 1-1 record. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 304 yards with a TD and two interceptions in a 28-22 win over Montreal in his CFL debut before finishing 30-of-39 passing for 307 yards in the Stampeders’ 18-16 loss to Winnipeg last week.

Maier’s play has convinced Mitchell he doesn’t have to rush back and play before he’s physically ready to.

“The way Jake has been playing, man, I have 1,000 per cent confidence to let him go out there and do what we need to do in order to win the game because he’s been balling it out,’ Mitchell said. “That’s been fun to watch.

“I’d love to be out there as soon as I possibly can and if that’s this game, next game, the game after that I will do whatever is best for the team.”

Maier, 24, said his preparation won’t change regardless of when Mitchell ultimately returns.

“I want him to be healthy, I want him to get back,” Maier said. “I’ve just got to be ready to be the best quarterback for this team as long as he’s out, as long as he needs.

“Even before the injury, during training camp, I was always preparing to make sure if I stepped on the field I was going to be ready to go and put my best foot forward. Nothing really changes for me. Even when Bo comes back nothing will really change for me. I’ll stay engaged mentally and physically so I feel good.”

Mitchell, 31, has been impressed with the poise Maier has displayed on the field despite being a rookie.

“The one thing I love about him is I kind of kept asking him how he’s feeling and he’s like, ‘Man, you know that’s like the fifth time you’ve asked me that,’ with a smile on his face,” Mitchell said. “To me, that just showed that confidence and that moxie.”

Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said once Mitchell indicates he’s ready to play, the veteran quarterback will be back directing the Stampeders’ offence.

“He did actually do some good things today,” Dickenson said. “Listen, I’m going to try to be smart but I think when he tells me he’s good to go, he’s going to play and I’m looking forward to that day.

“It’s coming soon. We’ll play it out this week.”

Mitchell has been Calgary’s starter since 2014 and guided the club to two Grey Cup victories (2014, 2018). He’s also captured the CFL’s outstanding player award in 2016 and ‘18.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2021.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press