SURREY, B.C. — The B.C. Lions are optimistic that hard-luck quarterback Travis Lulay's latest injury will not keep him out for long.
After missing most of the 2014 CFL season with a shoulder injury, Lulay now has to recover from a knee injury suffered in Thursday's win in Montreal. He returned to Vancouver with the team and was scheduled to undergo an MRI test Friday afternoon.
"He's walking with a limp, but it doesn't look like it's anything major," said coach Jeff Tedford. "We have to see what the MRI says and what the prognosis for his return would be."
Lulay was injured midway through the first quarter as Alouettes' linebacker Kyries Hebert took him down from behind after he had scrambled out of the pocket. It was initially suspected that Lulay suffered a torn medial collateral ligament. Tedford said it's not yet clear whether Lulay, the 2011 CFL's most outstanding player, will miss any playing time. B.C.'s next game is at home against the Ottawa Redblacks on Sept. 13, giving Lulay more than a week to rest and recover.
"If the game was three days from now, it would be absolutely not (playing)," said Tedford. "But we have a little bit of time before the next game. So we'll how (the knee) responds to treatment. But the No. 1 thing is: Take a look at the MRI and see what the extent of the injury is."
If Lulay can't play against Ottawa, 34-year-old John Beck could go from being the CFL's oldest backup QB to its oldest healthy starting signal-caller, depending on the status of Toronto's Ricky Ray, 35, who has resumed throwing after missing all of this season's games with a shoulder injury suffered in 2014. After Lulay was hurt, Beck completed 14 of 22 passes and threw for a modest 114 yards and two touchdown passes against the Als. But Beck also threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.
Tedford said Beck showed a lot of poise in a hostile environment considering that he was sidelined in training camp and the pre-season with hepatitis and has not had many reps in practice or games this season. Beck's three-plus quarters of action Thursday were the most he has seen since joining the Lions in 2014. The former Brigham Young University star and NFL journeyman played in only nine NFL games over six seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans, who released him midway through the 2012 season.
He missed the 2013 season while going unwanted in the NFL and did not take a single snap in a game from 2008-2010 while he was employed in the league. But Tedford said he would have no problem using Beck, who has suffered two concussions — one in the NFL and one in the CFL — for an extended period.
If Beck does become the starter, rookies Jonathon Jennings, now No. 3, and Greg McGhee, currently on the practice roster, will move up the QB depth chart. Although this is traditionally the time of year when CFL teams bring in players cut from the NFL, Tedford has no immediate plans to bring in another signal-caller from south of the border.
"If it was a season-ending thing, of course, but we don't think that that's the case," said Tedford.
However, the Lions (4-5), who are third in the West Division and in danger of missing the playoffs, will bring in some NFL castoffs in the near future.
"We're looking for a whole team, to see what we can improve," said Tedford. "That's something that you absolutely do at this time of year."
Monte Stewart, The Canadian Press