B.C. Lions release two-time Grey Cup champion DL Steven Richardson

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The B.C. Lions have released American defensive lineman Steven Richardson.

Richardson signed a two-year deal with the Lions in free agency in 2022 after spending the previous two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Chicago, Illinois native never played a down for the team after suffering a ruptured Achilles last April while working out ahead of the 2022 season.

The Lions did not expect Richardson to play for the team in 2023. He reported to the Lions in October and was on track to return for the playoffs but suffered a serious setback shortly after and was ruled out for the remainder of the season, sparking speculation that his career could be over.

The 27-year-old was a key cog in Winnipeg’s two Grey Cup-winning teams in 2019 and 2021, posting 38 defensive tackles, six sacks and one forced fumble in 25 games in blue and gold.

Nicknamed “Stove,” the five-foot-eleven, 304-pound defensive tackle also recorded a pair of sacks in the 108th Grey Cup victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, en route to winning his second-straight ring with the Bombers.

The Lions also released five other players, including American receiver Justice Murphy, American defensive back Jaiden Cole, American offensive lineman Syrus Tuitele, American kicker Casey Bednarski and Global fullback John Levi Kruse.