Back to help ground game

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

Former NFL running back/returner Ronney Jenkins could be practising with the Stampeders as early as today. Jenkins, 27, was to fly to Calgary last night for a team physical before signing a one-year plus an option deal with the struggling CFL club.

Terry Bolar, Jenkins' agent, said signing with the Stamps allows the player to display his talents for NFL scouts while earning a living for the final five weeks of the Stamps season. He would then be eligible to sign with an NFL team or return to Calgary next year.

"Basically, he still has an opportunity to play and show his skills," said Bolar, who had hoped to field NFL offers after the weekend if any teams suffered injuries.

"I haven't had any calls (from NFL clubs) for him to workout, so now he's got a chance to go up there and play and make a living."

Jenkins could be added to the Stamps lineup Friday night as a kickoff and punt returner while also getting a few carries when the B.C. Lions visit.

The 5-ft. 11-in., 199-lb., Jenkins is a bona fide touchdown threat.

He posted more than 1,500 yards in kick returns with San Diego in both 2000 and 2001, setting a Chargers season record with 1,541 in '01.

He also averaged more than 22 yards per return through his three seasons with San Diego.

He spent the 2003 season with Oakland before signing with New Orleans this year. He was released Aug. 30.

The Stamps last week acquired Jenkins' CFL rights from the Toronto Argos for a second-round draft pick in 2005.

The Stampeders' ground game has struggled this season, posting a disappointing 3.4-yard average.

Running back Victor Ike was largely ignored by former offensive co-ordinator John Jenkins through the first five games.

The Stamps are expected to start Joffrey Reynolds Friday.

Reynolds has been in camp for more than a week learning the playbook while he took reps with the offence yesterday.

"That and just getting used to the whole game, getting comfortable in the whole offence and being effective. I feel pretty good," Reynolds said after yesterday's practice.

"Last week, I was just trying to work my way in wherever I could but today I got a lot of reps and got to learn from the mistakes that I was making, so that was pretty good, too.

"I'm hoping I can get the opportunity to get the ball in my hands and take the pressure off the quarterback a little bit, whether it's four yards a carry or just make the defence play honest.

"I'm definitely ready to go and get the chance to get in on Friday and they'll call my number a lot."

GM-head coach Matt Dunigan said Reynolds wasn't ready to start last week against Ottawa but will get enough reps this week to see game action.

"We liked what we saw last week he just wasn't ready mentally," Dunigan said.

"He still has to stay on top of it mentally because it's not just running the football. You've got to be perfect in your assignments elsewhere and pass protections and understanding what to do and what not to do against so many different possibilities and that happens very quickly. You have to be sharp."

Dunigan said Ike had ample opportunity to prove what he could do in the backfield but his lack of carries was the product of a lack of production, a problem the whole unit shares.

"How many times can you keep going back to it when he gets stuffed?" Dunigan wondered.

"Put yourself in second-and-long situations. You need to have good first-down production, so it's a balance there. It's not just the running back, it's the entire offence."


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