It would be hard to recognize Lewis Ward behind the safety glasses and mask working at Kingston General Hospital.
That’s where the Ottawa Redblacks Canadian kicker has been putting in hours as a COVID-19 screener during the pandemic. He’s been doing it at the same place his mom, Angela, works as a nurse.
“I can’t imagine some of the work that they have to do. And I think that’s why a lot of it is sort of kept to them because they just want to do their work,” Ward told CTV reporter Kimberley Johnson.
“It’s eye-opening in a way. I definitely didn’t realize how many people are coming in and out of the hospital. It’s a busy, busy place.”
Ward was born in England and his family moved to Kingston while he was in grade eight. He started working at the hospital in November while hoping it’s just an off-season job. The Redblacks signed Ward to a one-year contract extension in January.
Ward played USports football with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. He went unselected in the 2017 CFL Draft, but won the 2018 Most Outstanding Rookie and Most Outstanding Special Teams awards. That year Ward set the single-season league record for field goal percentage making 98.1 percent of his kicks.
The 28-year-old holds the CFL record for consecutive regular season field goals made at 69. Overall, Ward has made 92.2 percent of his three-point attempts, he’s hit on 94-of-102 tries with a long of 56 yards in 36 CFL games.
The CFL and players’ association have been working to play football in 2021 which would allow Ward to kick balls instead of taking temperatures. The league office has targeted August 5 as a potential kick-off date for the regular season this year.
The three-down league and union began meetings during the second week of February with a focus on playing football. The two sides have submitted return to play health and safety plans to various levels of government in Canada as the stakeholders work to gain return to play approval.
The record-setting kicker will continue to do his part in bending the curve until the call comes to bend kicks inside the uprights again.