The Lions want Michael Reilly’s arm ‘as live as possible’ for Friday night vs. Riders

The B.C. Lions are doing their part to ensure gunslinger Michael Reilly can make all the throws he wants for Week 1 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Reilly hasn’t thrown a pass since Sunday, however, it’s all part of the plan put together by the training staff, coaches and the 36-year-old himself.

“We were on a pitch count all week, came up with a game plan to make sure that things were being monitored and be on the safe side more than anything else,” Reilly said.

“There were certainly times where I could be out throwing, but it wasn’t the best scenario for the long term for me to be fresh and as 100 percent as I can be on Friday.”

The veteran passer has been listed with a right elbow ailment on the team’s injury report. During camp Reilly was dealing with shoulder soreness, which caused him to miss a handful of sessions.

“I’m feeling OK. Definitely the effects of having two years off and then coming out throughout training camp and trying to do what needs to be done to get ready for the game,” Reilly said.

“The last thing we wanted was to overwork and then wake up on Friday, on game day, which is when it’s most important to be feeling good, and maybe not be at our best. Just tried to figure out the best way to do it, that’s how it went down this week.”

On Sunday, July 18, Reilly underwent an MRI on his right shoulder and arm to rule out a serious setback. Overuse during training camp has the Lions treating Reilly like a major league starting pitcher.

“Fully optimistic that he’s going to go,” head coach Rick Campbell said. “It’s a plan we have to have his arm as live as possible for Friday night.”

The six-foot-three, 230-pound signal caller started 16 games for the Lions in 2019, but his first year as the starter in B.C. was cut short due to a broken wrist. Prior to the injury, Reilly was the last healthy starting quarterback league-wide.

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