Travis Lulay says knee is “upwards of 90 per cent” could be ready to start this week

Travis Lulay and his knee could be ready if Lions head coach Wally Buono wants to start him at quarterback against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday.

“I would say if the week of practice goes well and I have more confidence even than I did a week ago when we declared myself ready, I’ve been on the roster but obviously, my role had been more of a managing and finishing the game should injuries happen. This is part of the natural progression, you go from there to when I’m feeling really good and getting through it,” Lulay said on Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver.

“If the week were to go well there’s a chance of that. Every week we would reassess after the week of work and how it responded, how my confidence level is in it, making sure that strength is where it needs to be, so that’s where we’re at. So I guess I wouldn’t be able to declare that today, I would say I would optimistically go into this week and evaluate as the days of work go by.”

The 34-year-old suffered a season-ending ACL injury last September against the Montreal Alouettes. Current starter Jonathon Jennings has struggled to begin the season, managing just 487 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in three games with the Lions at 1-2, last place in the West Division, which has put pressure on B.C. and in turn Lulay.

“The knee is coming along, I’ve been really, really, encouraged by the last few weeks and we’re kind of to that point now where it’s just a matter of closing that gap on that last five or 10 per cent. I hate putting numbers on it but confidently I would say I’m upwards of 90 per cent, feeling pretty good, last week practice went great so hoping for more of that this week,” Lulay said.

Lulay dressed for the first time in 2018 when the Lions travelled to Edmonton and again in Week 4 against Winnipeg when B.C. lost the game 41-19 with Jennings getting intercepted twice and throwing for just 105 yards in the defeat. That was Jennings worst performance of the season and he’s failed to reach 200 passing yards in a game this season.

“Last week was my first week of really full-go practising as if I was a normal player on the roster, the previous couple weeks I had – coming right out of training camp the first week of the season I was a bit more limited and then going into the bye did some more treatment and came back during the bye week and started elevating my participation in practice. Last week was good, full-go live against the defence,” Lulay said.

“Honestly, if I wasn’t wearing a knee brace and you didn’t know any different and you watched me cut on the practice film you probably wouldn’t know. My function looks full-go, so it’s just a matter of continuing to build strength and confidence to close that last five or 10 per cent.”

All 10 seasons Lulay has been in the CFL he’s played in B.C. passing for 18,858 yards, 114 touchdowns against 64 interceptions with a 63.9 completion rate and 94.2 QB rating. He’s battled through injury before and seems upbeat about how the knee is progressing.

“I’ve been really encouraged each of the last couple weeks I’ve said has felt like my best week yet, even today – a couple times a week I really challenge the change of direction, it helps strengthen it and gives me further confidence – and I was running around pretty wild and free today, so it felt really good, got a little bit of extra confidence going into this week of work,” Lulay said.

“We’re going to take it week-by-week and reevaluate every week, last week we upped the volume and it responded well so hoping for more of that same progress this week.”

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21 Comments on Travis Lulay says knee is “upwards of 90 per cent” could be ready to start this week

  1. Hate like hell to see a player return early if he’s not completely ready.

    • Paul Bomber // July 10, 2018 at 4:26 pm //

      With you, Yup. Especially this guy… such a class act/all the way.
      On the other hand, if he plays and if Wpg’s D can handle him in the Den, it will answer a few of the questions hanging over the Bomber D.
      I’m betting though, that the Lions would sooner take their chances with Jennings than risk Lulay if he’s not truly ready to go. That said, I don’t buy the “90%” thing… I’m betting he’s more like 99 or 99.9% ready to go and Wally just wants to make the Bombers plan for both QBs. I’d be surprised if Lulay doesn’t see some time on the field Saturday night.

      • You might be right on his progress beings closer to ready than Wally and Lulay suggest.

        I thought your team looked solid in every aspect the other night Paul, and I think Bighill will have a chip on his shoulder in BC. If he starts making plays early it will fire your D and make for an interesting game.

        • Paul Bomber // July 10, 2018 at 9:10 pm //

          Thanks Dude! Still need to see the D against a Reilly or Mitchell before I trust the backfield, but this O can make up any difference as long as the boys can shut down a few more drives than they did in week 1 and 3. I think we’re close.

        • Win-ipeg Fan // July 11, 2018 at 5:52 pm //

          For me when a player says 90% it’s more likely 75% because they want to get back in.

      • True Green // July 10, 2018 at 5:26 pm //

        At 34 there’s no way he should go in at 90%. He needs to be as good as he’s going to get before he risks himself out there again. I hope Paul is right and he’s closer to 99%. BC needs him against the solid looking Bombers.

  2. MR. Green // July 10, 2018 at 4:49 pm //

    Lulay will be ready. He dressed last week, so if needed he would of played in an emergency. The extra week should help. He may not start but I suspect he will play depending on the line and team play.

  3. Just saying // July 10, 2018 at 5:38 pm //

    Does a player have full say on wether the start or not?22

    • Paul Bomber // July 10, 2018 at 9:13 pm //

      I think a guy like Lulay would. And I think if a guy said he isn’t…. but after an injury, they’re going to leave the decision up to the medical staff. Most of these guys and their coaches will push it otherwise.

  4. Jose Perez // July 10, 2018 at 6:23 pm //

    He’s ready knee brace is off in practice today when I was there he is also taking more reps with first team than I expected. So he is going to play if not half the game might be the entire game. I think Jennings needs to sit look at what’s happening on the field take it in and rejuvenate his game. The game is to fast he needs to slow it down while on the field like when he first played 2015-2016.

    • Paul Bomber // July 10, 2018 at 9:17 pm //

      Oh good! Oh crap!
      Wanna get the team tested and you know the Lions will play better… but Lulay has killed us just about every time we’ve played him…. I’m sure we have, but I really can’t think of the last time we beat BC with Lulay starting.
      Can’t wait!

  5. Last year when Lulay took over, he totally sparked the team. There is a light at the end of BC’s tunnel! Really hope he heals up right and gets back in.

  6. Jim Bob // July 10, 2018 at 9:36 pm //

    With Lulay’s injury history he needs to be 110% ready to get on the field. Just 1 real BIG HIT on him at the wrong place could put him back to square 1 real fast. A big risk on the Lions part to get him out there under these circumstances.

  7. yeah heres a recipe for disaster, basically ifyou lose to the bombers and are in last place you will be chasing the entire division for the rest of the year, so you are basically forced to put in an aging qb that isnt fully ready yet, the older you are too the longer it takes to heal, and if lulay takes another bad hit to the knee however it may happen, his career will be over. damned if you do and damned if you dont…well guarentee that if he does start he wont be throwing any long bombs that take time to develop

  8. AreaFiftyNone // July 10, 2018 at 11:10 pm //

    Johnny Jennings will start and lose again badly and theres no hope on the bench either.Bombers will chase scrub Llyod if he sees action

    • Philski // July 11, 2018 at 2:18 am //

      Oh my…funny…too many posters mimicking A**holefiftysomething…sigh. Anyway, Lulay was once a very good QB. But right now he is not. Time to retire. Along with that 110 year old QB in Toronto. Right gmen32?

      • Paul Bomber // July 11, 2018 at 8:46 am //

        Yeah… the use of “scrub” caught my eye too.
        If you watched Lulay last year (and understood the anything about the Canadian game), Lulay’s ability is NOT in question. The guy can run, pass, improvise and seems to be the consummate team-guy. Durability & luck are his only weaknesses.

  9. Play it safe man. It’s still a long season and JJ is not the only reason the Lions haven’t played well.

  10. Elaine Ottoson // July 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm //

    With all the injuries Travis has had, I am surprised he wants to get back on the field.
    Think of your future, you will be old before your time with many aches and pains.
    He seems like an intelligent person that would do well away from football. Sigh!

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