Sports Football

B.C. Lions Lulay taking it slow with shoulder

By Hosea Cheung, 24 hours Vancouver

B.C. Lions QB Travis Lulay (left) is still recovering from his off-season shoulder surgery. (REUTERS)

B.C. Lions QB Travis Lulay (left) is still recovering from his off-season shoulder surgery. (REUTERS)

Travis Lulay is, of course, still the main man for the B.C. Lions, even if it didn't look that way based on the number of throws he made Monday. But there's a reason for it.

With the B.C. Lions beginning their three-day offensive mini-camp in Surrey, featuring their quarterbacks, select receivers, running backs and offensive linemen, the club's No. 1 pivot Lulay is treating it as a trial run for his shoulder — one that required off-season surgery.

"The idea is to just keep progressing slowly forward," Lulay said. "I just can't rip it yet, just can't really let it go. One of the worst things you can do is go too fast so as long as I keep progressing, things should come around good."

Managing his injury will be key, and while there's still about a month until the main training camp in Kamloops and two months until the start of the 2014 CFL season, the Lions will want their starting quarterback to be healthy and ready.

"You can't get ahead of yourself," he said. "Five months out from the operation and still got a little ways to go.

"I certainly believe I will be doing more (at training camp) than I am now."

Last season, Lulay appeared in 12 games, missing six of the final seven regular season games, while partly playing in the team's West Division semi-final loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He suffered his injury against the Montreal Alouettes in Week 12 while diving into the end zone for a touchdown.

"The best decision was to take care of it," Lulay said of the surgery to repair labrum issues in his throwing shoulder. "The idea is to hopefully decrease the risk of it happening again … and to provide the stability that is more natural to the shoulder."

While Lulay and his recovery was a key talking point Monday, the bulk of the focus on the field revolved around his potential backups.

There were three hopefuls and one no-show. Former NFL quarterback John Beck was there, as was Jarrett Lee and Chris Hart. But CFL veteran Steven Jyles didn't show up, with "decisions to make, family commitments and some job opportunities to take a look at," according to head coach Mike Benevides.

For Beck, the 32-year-old brings some pedigree with him to this league, having played six years in the NFL after being drafted 40th overall by the Miami Dolphins in 2007. But he just wants to learn the Canadian game, and is picking Lulay's brain as much as he can.

"It's great for me to be around Travis because he's been playing it for so long, so I'm just trying to get up to speed to see it the way Travis' eyes see it," Beck said. "I'm trying to find out what things I can transfer from the American game and what things do I have to forget about. I'm really bouncing a lot of things off Travis."

Benevides isn't concerned about where Beck fits in on the depth chart just yet.

"We're just going to look a look at making sure we get as much implemented, get him evaluated and really take these three days to see what (the quarterbacks) have and how they take on to what we want them to do," he said. "I just want to give them an opportunity to show what they have."



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