Defensive tackle Steven Richardson suffers setback to Achilles injury, will not play for Lions this season

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The B.C. Lions will not get a chance to see prized free agent acquisition Steven Richardson in action this season, as the team announced Thursday that the defensive tackle has suffered a setback in his rehab from a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Richardson initially suffered the injury during a workout session in April and has missed the entirety of the 2022 season to this point. However, he had recently reported to the Lions facility and was on track to return to the field ahead of the playoffs, before suffering the setback.

Nicknamed “Stove,” the five-foot-eleven, 304-pound defensive tackle signed a lucrative two-year contract with the Lions this offseason and was projected to be the key cog on a revamped defensive line. In two prior seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Richardson recorded 38 defensive tackles, six sacks and one forced fumble in 25 regular season games, while winning two Grey Cups.

The Lions have been surprisingly effective along the defensive interior despite Richardson’s absence, rolling with American Josh Banks and rookie Canadian Nathan Cherry as starters, while rotating in a heavy dose of Global Tibo Debaillie and fellow free agent signing Woody Baron — who recently debuted in the lineup after an offseason injury of his own.

B.C. (10-5) will have to wait until 2023 to see Richardson on the field but will face his old club on Saturday, October 15, when the Bombers (14-2) take to the field at BC Place at 10:00 p.m. EDT.