SUD­DENLY, STAM­PED­ERS ARE LOW ON RETURNERS AMID IN­JURIES

Calgary Sun - - SPORTS - DANIEL AUSTIN daustin@post­media.com @Dan­nyAustin_9

As if it wasn’t bad enough that the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers re­ceiv­ing corps has been ab­so­lutely dec­i­mated, now the team’s lost their pri­mary kick re­turner. Se­ri­ously.

A day af­ter Stamps head coach Dave Dick­en­son had praised the work Terry Wil­liams put in against the Mon­treal Alou­ettes, he an­nounced bad news.

“Terry, un­for­tu­nately he went in and had an x-ray and he has to do an MRI on his wrist,” Dick­en­son said. “At this stage, not look­ing good.”In Wil­liams’ place, the Stamps (12-2) will slot Ro­mar Mor­ris into the lineup for Satur­day’s West Di­vi­sion matchup with the B.C. Lions (7-7).

Mor­ris started at the po­si­tion two games ago against the Toronto Arg­onauts and re­turned seven punts for 69 yards. He can do the job.

But the team is tee­ter­ing on the brink of trou­ble. In ad­di­tion to Wil­liams, the Stamps also con­firmed that they’ll be with­out the ser­vices of Troy Stou­d­er­mire, likely for the rest of the sea­son due to a torn MCL. Marken Michel was also added to the six-game in­jured list this week.

All three were op­tions for re­turn­ing kicks, so an in­jury to Mor­ris would force the team to look way down its depth chart for an­other op­tion. This doesn’t even in­clude the fact that their No. 1 op­tion head­ing into the sea­son was sup­posed to be Roy Finch, who re­tired af­ter get­ting ar­rested in Ok­la­homa.

It should be noted, how­ever, that the Stamps have only added Wil­liams to the one-game in­jured list and won’t know how long his wrist will keep him side­lined un­til they see the re­sults of his MRI.

Dick­en­son didn’t sound op­ti­mistic, though.

“Oh yeah, it’s po­ten­tially longterm,” Dick­en­son said. “It’s an in­jury that we knew he was sore, but we were un­able to get the imag­ing done un­til yes­ter­day. Ul­ti­mately … they saw some­thing that caused con­cern. I feel bad for Terry be­cause he’s work­ing hard and he en­joys the game, but we’ll see.

“We are con­cerned and we’ll take it one week at a time.”

This week, it’ll be Mor­ris who gets the call.

The team tried out a num­ber of play­ers at re­turner on Thurs­day dur­ing their only prac­tice of the week, in­clud­ing re­ceiver Le­mar Du­rant.

“We’ll ac­ti­vate Ro­mar in there, which we were think­ing about any­ways,” Dick­en­son said. “He’s done a nice job, some of the other guys have to step up. We do have other play­ers. (Tunde Adeleke)’s done a nice job of that in the past (but) he’s our start­ing safety, play­ing well, very valu­able. “It’ll be Ro­mar to start out and if we need guys, we’ve worked three, four, five other op­tions in our one prac­tice so we’ll be ready to go.”Mor­ris sim­ply shrugged when he was asked about be­ing called upon for re­turn du­ties again. It’s next-man-up for the Stam­ped­ers, same way it’s been all sea­son.

“Right now that’s where they got me, it’s wher­ever the coaches need me,” Mor­ris said. “Whether it’s re­turn­ing, of­fence or block­ing, I’ll do it.

“It’s pretty crazy, all these in­juries, but we use the ‘next man up’ term and whether it’s the re­ceivers or run­ning backs, that’s how we do it.

“I’ve never seen it where we have so many in­juries, but we still have a tight-knit group, so we’ll be able to pull through.”

NOT SUR­PRISED

Satur­day will mark An­thony Parker’s re­turn to McMa­hon Sta­dium.

Af­ter seven years with the Stam­ped­ers — and four with the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary Di­nos — Parker was re­leased at the end of train­ing camp.

He signed with the B.C. Lions a few weeks ago, and will be mak­ing his first ap­pear­ance at McMa­hon in vis­it­ing colours on Satur­day.

He’s watched the Stamps closely this sea­son and has kept in touch with lots of his for­mer team­mates, in­clud­ing Juwan Brescacin, who is hav­ing a break­out sea­son.

“Juwan’s hav­ing a phe­nom­e­nal sea­son right now,” Parker said. “Given the op­por­tu­nity, he’s an 1,000-yard guy, no ques­tion. The thing about him is the catch ra­tio, we saw it again last week, he made a cou­ple phe­nom­e­nal grabs out there. “I think his fu­ture is re­ally, re­ally bright.”

NOTES

If this game is close at the end of the third quar­ter, ex­pect the Stamps to win. The Cal­gary crew have a +78 scor­ing mar­gin in fourth quar­ters this sea­son. That’s the best in the league, and it’s not even close. The Lions are sec­ond-best, with a +40 mar­gin, and no other team in the league is bet­ter than +12 … Given the de­fen­sive tal­ent the Stamps have had over the years, this is a lit­tle sur­pris­ing but Alex Sin­gle­ton can be­come the first Cal­gary de­fender ever to record two 100+ de­fen­sive tackle sea­sons with just six more tack­les. Only eight play­ers in league his­tory have had two con­sec­u­tive 100+ tackle sea­sons … At some point, the Stam­ped­ers are go­ing to get nice weather for a home game. It doesn’t look like it’s go­ing to be this sea­son, though.

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