Travis Lulay [current QB back-up] received the most MOP award in 2011 and was named the MVP in that same year. It was that year when he took the Lions from a 1-6 record in the 1st half of the season to a 1st place finish followed by a Grey Cup championship in the same year.
Due to injuries Lions fans have not seen much of Travis but he remained with the team over the years in an advisory/mentoring capacity. On occasion, when able, he would fill in as back up QB.
As usual Wally Buono was able to land an excellent replacement in young Jonathan Jennings as starting QB. Lulay would be used sparingly lest he re-injury an already fragile shoulder.
Unfortunately, Jennings got injured in the opening play against Hamilton on July 15. He would not return. Lulay played the entire game meting out a good thumping on the Ti-Cats. Lulay passed for over 430 yards! Not an easy accomplishment. His passes were laser like as if the ball had a homing device attached to it.
Jennings is still out and recovering. Many fans wondered if Lulay's appearance last week against Hamilton was an anomaly. Perhaps he just got lucky. Maybe Hamilton's game was off and they were not as prepared to play against Lulay. Nope!
Lulay started and finished the game last night against the Bombers. Again he threw for over 400 yards! That is not an anomaly. He even ran for a 14 yard TD diving over the goal line. Such is his spirit and heart for the game and for the team. The play was reminiscent of the play that almost finished off his career a few years ago where he dove over the goal line. But not this time.
Travis Lulay is back. He is healthy. He is stronger than ever. The guy threw for over 800 yards in only two games. He helped the team build a formidable lead but we need to give credit to the Nicholls and the Bombers. They erased that lead and at one point turned the score around to 42-27. But somehow you just knew the Lions would dig themselves out of that hole. And they did thanks to Yell's last few minutes interception allowing the Lions to score a FG.
Usually a coach has a good back up QB who hopefully can get the job done if the starter gets injured or is having a lousy game. Coach Buono has the luxury of two "starting" QBs now.
What is coach Buono to do? Jennings is superb. Lulay is brilliant and is back in top form.
TV commentator Matt Dunigan says Buono needs to go with the guy with the hot hand if both players are ready to play next game. It makes sense but we need to remember why Lulay has been out for the past number of years. Is he 110% healed? It sure looks that way. But in case he isn't, is it worth taking the chance and losing Lulay with maybe a career ending injury? I ask this because Lulay did take some pretty bone crushing hits and got sacked a number of times. If Lulay goes down with the same shoulder injury I'm guessing he'll be gone for good. Yes, the Lions still have Jennings in case Lulay re-injures that shoulder but he would not have the likes of Lulay to back him up. And that would be a shame.
Given how Lulay played and the resilience he showed in these last two games he hopefully is a lot healthier than we all think. There really is nothing to indicate otherwise so the coach may have to flip a coin.
Regardless, Travis Lulay, MOP, MVP is back! And I for one am very excited!