By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Writer
With only three more games until the CFL playoffs, the pressure is on for the BC Lions.
Currently at 7-7 and sitting second-to-bottom of the Western Division standings, the Lions’ chance of competing in this year’s post-season is at risk.
The absence of starting quarterback Travis Lulay has had an effect on the Lions this season. Lulay, due to off-season shoulder surgery couldn’t play until week 11. When Lulay returned as starting quarterback for the Lions’ game against the Ottawa RedBlacks, he re-aggravated his injury after being piled on by players. Lulay is currently on the six-week injury list, with the hope that he’ll be able to play the final two games of the regular season.
Lulay is not the only Lion currently suffering injuries; running backs Andrew Harris and Stefan Logan, wide receivers Courtney Taylor and Manny Arceneaux, receiver Bryan Burnham, left tackle Hunter Stewart, and cornerback Dante Marsh are all currently sitting on the sidelines as well.
The Vancouver Sun reports that GM Wally Buono might be placing some blame on Lions head coach Mike Benevides. Buono, who has previous experience with coaching, told the Sun, “You always evaluate.”
“You have to wait until the season’s over. Could we be nine-five right now or 10-four if we make the plays we should make? There’s only two games we couldn’t have won: against Toronto and in Montreal.” Buono went on to imply that “every other game” could have been a possible win for the team.
Regardless of why the BC Lions have not had the best season to date, hope still remains. The Lions have persevered and succeeded through situations similar to this one. In 2011, the Lions started with a disappointing season, only to win the Grey Cup on their home turf. With BC once again hosting the Grey Cup, optimists and fans hope that history will repeat itself.
In other cases, Western Division teams have not qualified for the semi-finals of their own division, yet have qualified for the semi-finals in the Eastern Division. In current Western standings, the Lions sit in fourth place. Unless this changes in the coming weeks, they will not qualify for the Western semi-finals.
However, as the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger Cats are tied for first in the Eastern Division, they only have a 6-8 record on the season. This leaves the possibility that the Lions may be able to cross over, as they did in 2009.
For now, Lions fans anxiously await the events that will unfold in the next few weeks of the CFL regular season.