AGAINST ALL ODDS, Part 5: Doctors can’t explain Streveler’s miracle recovery

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Against all odds: The story of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ 2019 Grey Cup run

In part 4 of our series, we told you how the Bombers used the season-ending bye week to lay the groundwork for their playoff run, which you can read here. Today in Part 5, an inside look at the Nov. 10 West semifinal against the defending Grey Cup champs in Calgary.

Doctors can’t explain Streveler’s miracle recovery

It was Monday morning, six days from game day, when the sliver of hope quarterback Chris Streveler had been clinging to became something more real.

In the 16 days since he’d suffered a high sprain and fracture of his right ankle, Streveler had spent up to eight hours a day in the rehab pool, most if it alone, on his own time, often late at night.

Despite being told his season was over, he was desperate to find a way to suit up in the playoffs.

On Sunday, athletic therapist Al Couture had offered Streveler a crumb: he’d let him go on the field the next day.

“What the hell, it’s playoffs. Let’s just see where we’re at,” Couture recalled thinking. “He was unbelievably excited that he would have an opportunity to display something for me.”

Streveler says he was so pumped he told everyone: “I’m running tomorrow morning, and it’s gonna go good.”

Everything Streveler had done to that point was in the pool, from simply standing to doing calf-raises to jogging and, finally, simulated drop-backs.

“All I had in my mind was, they’re giving me this opportunity to run, I’m gonna make it happen,” Streveler said. “No matter how it feels.”

Couture wasn’t expecting much that morning. He had Streveler take the field at 6 a.m., with nobody around. If the 24-year-old’s hopes were crushed, there was no need for teammates to see it.

What Couture saw nearly caused his jaw to drop.

He used his cell phone to record a short video, texting it to another staff member, along with a message: I can’t necessarily explain this, but I think we might have a chance here.

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