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Calgary Stampeders' Jesse Lumsden. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Calgary Stampeders' Jesse Lumsden. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Jesse Lumsden to retire from football Add to ...

Jesse Lumsden is going to become a one-sport athlete.

The Canadian Press has learned that Lumsden will announce his retirement as a CFL player Tuesday and concentrate full-time on being a member of Canada's bobsled team.

Bobsleigh Canada announced Monday that Lumsden will hold a news conference Tuesday at Canada Olympic Park at the start of the bobsled track to unveil his "future athletic career plans." Veteran bobsled pilot Pierre Lueders, a two-time Olympic medallist, and Calgary quarterback Henry Burris, the CFL's outstanding player last season, are also expected to attend.

The six-foot-three, 228-pound Lumsden has endured a host of injuries since embarking on his pro football career in 2004 when he signed as a free agent with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. Shortly after signing with the Calgary Stampeders last September, Lumsden suffered a season-ending knee injury and underwent major reconstructive surgery during the off-season.

Even if Lumsden decided to continue playing football, he wouldn't have been ready to resume his pro career with Calgary until September because of his knee operation. Lumsden's decision to retire doesn't leave the Stampeders stranded in the backfield, given the presence of starter Joffrey Reynolds - the club's career rushing leader - and versatile Canadian Jon Cornish backing him up.

Lumsden, who captured the 2004 Hec Crighton Trophy with the McMaster Marauders as Canadian university football's top player, was selected in the first round (sixth overall) by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2005 CFL Canadian college draft. The Edmonton native who grew up in Burlington, Ont., came into the league amid much fanfare and was generally considered one of the CFL's best running backs when healthy.

In six CFL campaigns, Lumsden rushed for 1,842 yards on 291 carries, an impressive 6.3-yard average per attempt, and scored 10 touchdowns. He has added 52 catches for 650 yards and two TDs.

Lumsden's best season was 2007 with Hamilton when he ran for 743 yards on 98 carries - an average of 7.6 yards - and three touchdowns. He also had 26 catches for 348 yards and a TD.

But twice with Hamilton, Lumsden had his season end due to shoulder problems. He also battled knee and ankle injuries with the Ticats.

He signed with Edmonton as a free agent in 2009 but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in his first game. The Eskimos released him at season's end.

It was while rehabilitating the '09 shoulder surgery that Lumsden joined the national bobsled program. He served as a brakeman for Lueders at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, finishing fifth in the two- and four-man competitions.

Lumsden joined the Stampeders on the practice roster midway through last season before being promoted to the active roster. However, Lumsden injured his knee in November making a tackle on special teams in a game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

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