Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has avoided off-season surgery on his shoulder.
Mitchell initially suffered the injury in Week 5 against Saskatchewan last season and it plagued him for the remainder of the campaign. He still managed to throw for 4,700 yards and 23 touchdowns while leading the Stampeders to a league-best 13-4-1 record.
“Everybody in this league and every sport plays injured. I was able to push through some things and compensate in other ways for the injury. Dave gave me the time that was necessary during practice to rest it and make sure I was strong for the games,” Mitchell said.
The Calgary quarterback worked with medical professionals to determine the extent of the injury and what the best course of treatment was jerequired.
“We found out that the shoulder was structurally sound. Structurally sound means there was basically no tear or anything in there that any good surgeon would want to go in there and fix because there is always risk with any surgery. The small little frays I had in there healed. It was good to know that there was no actual threatening pain in the shoulder,” Mitchell said.
Once the shoulder was cleared from a medical standpoint, Mitchell pushed hard in rehab and began working with a throwing coach, Jeff Peach who is based in Calgary for the last couple months.
“He’s a baseball guy. He was a pitcher in the minor leagues for a couple years. [Tom] Brady works with a baseball guy as well Tom House – they understand the shoulder,” Mitchell said.
“He really knows so much mechanically about the shoulder, about the preservation of it. I’m not changing my mechanics at all, I’m still going to throw the exact same. It was about spending the proper amount of time myself during the off-season on strengthening my shoulder and the small muscles in my shoulder. Really committing myself to the health of my shoulder and making sure that it was strong.”
Mitchell has spent about an hour a day just solely focused on rehabbing the shoulder, but he knows it doesn’t guarantee another injury from happening.
“There is nothing you can do about a guy hitting your ribs in mid-throwing motion, it’s a vulnerable position for a quarterback. No matter how strong my shoulder is or Tim Tebow’s shoulder is you get put in that position, you get hit, you’re going to get hurt,” Mitchell said.
Calgary’s franchise pivot does feel the shoulder will be stronger throughout games in 2018 and beyond.
“I threw about 60 balls yesterday pain-free, so things are definitely moving in the right direction.”