Crysdale sits out another practice

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

Jamie Crysdale's distinctive Rathole Drilling company truck was absent from the McMahon Stadium parking lot yesterday, along with the man who drives it.

With the 13-year veteran centre opting out of yesterday's practice with a sore left knee, speculation was rampant his 210-game streak of regular season starts will come to an end tomorrow when the Stamps host Winnipeg.

Although head coach Tom Higgins said he doesn't have to make public his 40-man roster until later today, it appears likely rookie Godfrey Ellis will take Crysdale's spot after snapping the ball for the first time this week in practice.

"I'm just an offensive lineman right now, I'll play wherever," shrugged Ellis yesterday when pushed about his role against the Bombers. "It's been kind of frustrating because they want all the snaps to be perfect, don't want any bad ones. Snapping and moving at the same time was pretty hard at first but with the work we did this week, I've adjusted to it."

Crysdale's unbelievable string dates back to 1993, his first year in Stamps silks.

Crysdale left practice early last week to receive a cortisone shot but started Saturday in Vancouver. While he has acknowledged the joint may require arthroscopic surgery, it's a decision he hoped to delay until the off-season.

Left guard Jay McNeil, the second-longest serving Stampeder behind Crysdale, could play centre but Higgins wants to avoid making two moves along the line.

Higgins was reluctant to tip his hand yesterday but suggested a week of rest might allow Crysdale to suit up.

"I told him to stay off it," Higgins said.

"He comes in for treatments and meetings and we tell him to go home."

Crysdale's streak is well off the 353 consecutive CFL games played by Bob Cameron, although excluding kickers the longest string was Leo Groenewegen's 252 consecutive game stretch between 1987-2000.

POINTS AFTER: With starting safety Don McGee nursing a sore ankle suffered Saturday in Vancouver, the Stamps have been looking at first-year DB/LB Trey Young who may start against Winnipeg. "I played the position every year since my junior year in high school so I've got some experience there," said the 25-year-old University of Montana product ... The Stamps released DB Jacoby Shepherd yesterday. Shepherd saw limited playing time at CB replacing injured Ben Kelly.


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