Travis Lulay placed his crutches by his locker and turned to face the media.
Although the diagnosis on his right knee was still yet to be determined, the dejected look on his face and the tears starting to glisten at the corners of his eyes spoke volumes.
The veteran quarterback for the B.C. Lions suffered a suspected tear to his anterior cruciate ligament on the second play from scrimmage in Friday’s 41-18 victory over the Montreal Alouettes.
“There’s significant damage,” said Lulay. ”We’ll have to do an MRI to confirm what happened exactly.
“I’m shocked more than anything. Things happen. I’ve obviously dealt with stuff like this before, but it’s personally disappointing.”
— Travis Lulay (@TravisLulay) September 9, 2017
Lulay was tackled on a six-yard run by Montreal’s Branden Dozier and stayed down before being helped to the sidelines.
“I went to cut inside and when my foot planted in the ground I felt my knee shift,” Lulay said in describing the play. ”It really happened before the contact. I got up and it hurt.”
Lulay was seen wiping tears from his eyes on the bench as trainers examined his knee before placing his leg into an air cast.
If it’s confirmed Lulay indeed suffered a tear to his ACL, he will be done for the year and faces a long rehab after surgery.
“It’s devastating for us, for him, for our fans,” said Lions head coach and general manager Wally Buono. “It is a very serious injury.”
Lulay, who turns 34 later this month and has dealt with a number of injuries in his career, started in place of Jonathon Jennings after the third-year QB struggled in three straight losses since returning from a shoulder ailment last month.
Jennings replaced Lulay against the Alouettes and capped B.C.’s first drive with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Arceneaux and two-point conversion to Bryan Burnham.
“It’s really tough, but we’re all here to do a job,” said Jennings, who finished with 295 yards and two touchdowns. ”As the second-string quarterback, you know you’re the next play away. I worked all week to prepare myself for the opportunity if it came.”
Lulay, who wouldn’t discuss his immediate future until he knows the extent of the damage, was 3-1 in Jennings’ absence earlier this season and entered Friday as the CFL’s highest rated passer.
“It’s hard to understand … it’s not for me to understand,” said Lulay. ”I trust there’s a plan. It’ll make more sense to me someday down the road.”
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press