Stampeders receiver Jorden cleared to play for division semifinal
|Toronto Star 08 Nov 2019 at 21:28|
It s been a little over 14 months since the Calgary Stampeders receiver suffered a catastrophic knee injury in the 2018 Labour Day game against the Edmonton Eskimos.
He d set a franchise single-game record of 249 receiving yards the week prior against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Jorden ranked second in league receiving yards with a career-high 944.
But a dislocated knee cap and the golden triangle of ligament tears — anterior, medial and posterior — required season-ending surgery that included transplanting tissue from his hamstring into his knee.
The six-foot-three, 203-pound receiver didn t appear in any regular-season games, but Jorden is now available to head coach Dave Dickenson for Sunday s West Division semifinal against the Bombers.
"Regardless of whether I play or not, this is an accomplishment for me," Jorden said Friday following practice at McMahon Stadium.
"Obviously I ve been working hard all season to even hope to get to this situation, to even have a possibility to play.
"All I can do is show them that I m confident, show them that my knee is strong."
Jorden took first-team reps in warm, dry conditions Friday. Receiver Eric Rogers didn t practise and is questionable for Sunday, which further opens the door for a possible Jorden return.
Considered one of the CFL s premiere receivers prior to his injury because of his speed and athleticism, how ready is Jorden to execute in a big-stakes game on what is predicted to be a cold, icy day at McMahon?
"He is a possibility," Dickenson said. "I understand the risks, but I ve been given clearance. He s just trying to get himself ready and make it hard on me.
"He looks good. He s fresh. He hasn t played in 15 months. What I like about it is he feels confident in his knee. We ve got to put our best option out there. If Eric gives me the green light, Eric s playing."
The winner of Sunday s game advances to the division final Nov. 17 in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Calgary is the host city of this year s Grey Cup on Nov. 24.
Jorden had six catches for 117 yards and a touchdown in the 2017 Grey Cup game in Ottawa against the Toronto Argonauts.
But his fourth-quarter fumble, which Argonauts defensive back Cassius Vaughn returned for a 109-yard touchdown, contributed to Toronto s 27-24 win.
Jorden, in his sixth season with the Stampeders, initially feared his knee injuries were career ending.
The 30-year-old Bowling Green alum spent a lonely summer doing rehab drills in the end zone while his teammates soldiered on without him.
So Jorden is relishing a return to full practice, regardless of whether he suits up Sunday.
"It s been a long, long recovery," Jorden said. "Some days, it s not been as easy as other days.
"Right now, it s feeling good, it s feeling strong, I ve been testing it a lot of different ways, put myself in a lot of different situations. I wanted the defensive backs to push me. I told them don t take it easy on me.