Toronto Argos’ quarterback Matt Nichols has been making progress even though many in the world have been isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s key for Nichols who is rehabbing a shoulder injury suffered with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last season.
“December, January were the two months where I didn’t do anything except for put in seven, eight hours a day of rehab and just blacked out for a couple months and woke up in February with the arm feeling a lot better. I’ve kept inching along,” Nichols told TSN reporter Farhan Lalji.
Nichols left Winnipeg’s Week 10 victory against B.C. favouring his right arm and shoulder. He was hurt when he was strip-sacked by Shawn Lemon in the fourth quarter. The 33-year-old went for an MRI and was placed on the six-game injured list. After further examination, it was determined Nichols needed a procedure, which was done on September 26, 2019.
“We took the approach of strengthening hard for six months, get the full range of motion, full strength back, so that way when I started throwing I would have the strength to get up to where I needed to be,” Nichols said.
“We’ve been throwing for a couple weeks. Right now, I feel incredible. No limitations on any lifting or strengthening. A couple weeks in I finished with 10 balls at 35 yards and felt completely normal. We’re just sticking to the process.”
Nichols had an impressive 15-5 touchdown to interception ratio, but didn’t eclipse the 300-yard mark in 2019. The six-foot-two, 211-pound passer was playing consistent football, completing more than 71 percent of his passes when he was on the field last year.
Through 10 CFL seasons, Nichols has passed for 18,363 yards, 108 touchdowns versus 60 interceptions while completing 66 percent of his attempts. He’s added 617 yards on 140 carries with 13 touchdowns on the ground. Nichols has produced a 45-28 win-loss record as a starting quarterback, 7-2 prior to his season-ending injury last year.
“In a couple weeks we’ll be cleared from doing anything. I’ll be throwing on my own, throwing into nets,” Nichols said.
Nichols has been fortunate U-District Physical Therapy has remained open as an essential business in Spokane, Washington during the coronavirus crisis. That’s allowed Nichols to focus and work the shoulder back to full health.
“I’ve been lucky that my facility here has been an essential business. It’s allowed to remain open for physical therapy only,” Nichols said.
“I’ve been lucky that it hasn’t affected my rehab or my training and I’m taking full advantage of it.”