Calgary Stampeders franchise quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has been diagnosed with a broken leg.
The injury occurred in Week 1 against the Toronto Argonauts. Mitchell finished that game and played the entire Week 2 contest versus the B.C. Lions. Prior to taking the field last Thursday, Mitchell got a pain shot with freezing in it to try and numb the area, but it didn’t work.
“It was a late hit from Charleston [Hughes], if you slow it down you can see his knee slam into the back of mine. Honestly, no ill will towards him, I didn’t even feel it was a late hit, so I appreciated the penalty,” Mitchell said with a laugh.
“I talked to him after because I was limping around that second half of the game. When I watched the play I was like: ‘Man, you really pulled up, I thought you could’ve killed me on that play.’ Just unlucky where his knee connected with mine on a small part of the bone.”
Throughout the game versus the Argos, his leg felt worse and worse. That’s how Mitchell realized it was more serious than initially thought. It was only a five-day week to prepare to play the Lions and Mitchell only practiced one time. He treated the leg tenderly during the only session prior to suiting up at McMahon Stadium.
“During the game I knew I was going to be a standing target in the pocket. Tried to power through, maybe not my best, smartest move in the world, but we talk about grit here,” Mitchell said.
“I’ve always tried to play through anything if I can to help my team. It’s bad luck on where you get hit. Making the smart decision now to take some time off and let the young guys take the reigns. The bone will heal up, I’ll drink some milk, and make sure I come back strong.”
Mitchell has been placed on the six-game injured list which is reserved for players who are expected to be out for long periods of time. Player salaries do not count against the cap while they are on the six-game injury reserve, which is an added incentive for teams to acknowledge when players are expected to be out long-term.
“He has a break in his leg, his fibula. Played the whole game with it, at the time we knew he was sore. We’ll be putting him on six-game and hopefully he’s a fast healer,” head coach Dave Dickenson said.
“Typically four-to-six weeks on a bone. I’m going to do everything I can to get back earlier than that,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell started in the Stampeders back-to-back losses to start the season, opening the season 0-2 for the first time in his CFL career. He also leads the league in interceptions with five, which is highly uncharacteristic of the league’s two-time Most Outstanding Player.
“I know Tiger Woods played on a broken leg, he had a little better performance than I did,” Mitchell said.
A two-time Grey Cup champion, Mitchell reached 60 career wins in just 72 starts, which is the fastest mark of any quarterback in league history, but struggled with injuries for the first time in 2019.
The 31-year-old left the Stamps’ Week 3 win against B.C. last season favouring his right arm, chest and shoulder area. Following the setback, Mitchell was placed on the six-game injured list, causing Mitchell to miss a start for the first time since 2014.
That unfortunate right shoulder setback limited him to 11 games. He passed for 3,464 yards with 19 touchdowns against 11 interceptions while completing 66 per cent of his attempts, opting for surgery in the off-season.
It’s a lower-body issue that’s going to cause Mitchell to miss a chunk of the 2021 season.