Lions lose left tackle Joel Figueroa for West Semi-Final

Photo: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions will be without their top offensive lineman to protect injured quarterback Nathan Rourke in the West Semi-Final, as left tackle Joel Figueroa is unable to dress with a shoulder injury.

The 33-year-old Figueroa started all 18 games on the Lions’ blindside in 2022, earning his third career nomination as the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. He has played 108 games over his nine-year CFL career, split between Hamilton, Edmonton and B.C.

In his place, the Lions will bump Jarell Broxton out to tackle after he started the final three games of the season at left guard. The 29-year-old has spent the majority of his CFL career on the practice roster of both the Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, dressing in just four games. Phil Norman will slide into his regular left guard spot.

Protecting the quarterback will be of utmost importance for the Lions, with first-year starter Nathan Rourke expected to play a full game for the first time since returning from Lisfranc surgery less than three months ago. The Canadian phenom has spoken openly about the fact that he is not yet fully mobile at this stage in his recovery and cannot run the way he is used to.

The Stampeders lead the CFL with 56 quarterback sacks on the season, led by Most Outstanding Defensive Player finalist Shawn Lemon. Fellow defensive end Folarin Orimolade will also be back in the lineup after sitting out the final week of the regular season, as will West Division all-star Mike Rose.

The Lions (12-6) will host Calgary (12-6) on Sunday, November 6 at 4:30 p.m. EDT.