SURREY, B.C. – B.C. Lions quarterback Casey Printers seemed genuinely surprised Wednesday when asked about a report that said his CFL season was finished due to a knee injury.
“Oh no, no, no,” said Printers. “Where do they get their sources?”
Wally Buono, the Lions coach and general manager, also denied media reports Printers needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus and a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
“If that was the report, that is surprising to all of us,” Buono said. “If that was the case I think the surgery would have been done a long time ago.”
The exact nature of Printers’ injury, and when he might be able to play again, are still questions that remain unanswered.
Printers had an appointment with Dr. Bob McCormack, the Lions’ head physician, Wednesday afternoon.
Buono expects Printers will be told he can travel with the team for Friday’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos (TSN, 9 p.m. ET). Printers would wear a brace on his knee and dress as the Lions’ third quarterback.
“Everything right now seems to be pointing in the direction that he will be travelling and being No. 3 and should be working next week,” Buono said.
There is a chance McCormack could recommend arthroscopic surgery, which would sideline Printers for around a month.
“The only discussion I had with Dr. McCormack was, if the surgery needed to happen, let’s get it done as quickly as possible,” said Buono. “Let’s not wait another two or three weeks.”
Travis Lulay will start at quarterback when the Lions (1-3) try to end a three-game losing streak against the 0-4 Eskimos. Jarious Jackson will be the backup.
Printers hurt his right knee in the third quarter of a July 16 loss to the Montreal Alouettes. Lulay started at quarterback in last week’s 24-20 loss to the Toronto Argonauts. Printers dressed for the game as the third-stringer.
Printers was examined by McCormack on Sunday. At that time it was decided he would take it easy in practice this week in an attempt to reduce the swelling on his knee.
Printers did some throwing during the week but did not participate in workouts.
“We’re taking our time with this one,” he said about the injury.
Printers started the season as B.C.’s No. 1 quarterback but never appeared to totally mesh with the offence. He has completed 50 of 88 passes for 591 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions and has a 56.8 passing percentage.
The 29-year-old native of DeSoto, Texas, has enjoyed seasons of feast or famine in the CFL. He joined the Lions as a free agent in 2003, then took the league by storm the next season, throwing for over 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns to be named CFL MVP.
Printers struggled with injuries during the 2005 season, then spent two years in the NFL. He returned to the CFL in 2007 and played parts of two miserable seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He returned to the Lions late last season.
Lulay, 26, came close to winning his first CFL start last week until throwing an interception late in the game that Toronto’s Byron Parker returned for a touchdown.
He finished the night completing 26 of 40 passes for 330 yards and two interceptions. He also was the victim of a couple of dropped passes.
“Every week you get a little bit more comfortable,” Lulay said about facing the Eskimos. “Real game reps are the most valuable thing you can get to progress and become better.
“Last week was important for me. I do feel comfortable. We have a team mind set we have to go in and get a win.”
The Lions continue to struggle on offence. B.C. has scored just 75 points this season, second least in the league behind Edmonton’s 74, and has thrown only three touchdown passes.
Veteran slotback Geroy Simon said the Lions have hurt themselves with missed opportunities.
“That’s what has been killing us the first few games,” he said. “We have to turn it around and fix it up.
“We have to get this thing going in the right direction. We started a little bit of that this week in practice. Now we have to transfer it on Friday.”
Simon said the Lions are confident with Lulay at quarterback.
“Travis has done a great job his year,” he said. “He played a pretty good game (last week). He made a couple of mistakes but everybody makes mistakes.
“We just have to limit that and give him open targets and make big plays for him.”