SUDDENLY, STAMPEDERS ARE LOW ON RETURNERS AMID INJURIES
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.”
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.”
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.