No pain, no gain

Joffrey Reynolds is aided by assistant therapist Mike Gudmundson, left, and the team's head...

Joffrey Reynolds is aided by assistant therapist Mike Gudmundson, left, and the team's head therapist Pat Clayton after he suffered a neck stinger on a tackle in the second quarter Saturday night. (Calgary Sun/Kevin Udahl)

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Tom Higgins has seen longer, more gruesome processions of pain in his more than two decades in the CFL but not many.

The sheer variety and depth of dings inflicted upon his Stampeders Saturday night was still mind-boggling yesterday, although only two wounds appear serious enough to warrant lineup changes this week.

"It was a parade but it wasn't in one particular area because we had some hamstrings, groins, shoulders, fingers ..." the head coach said, rattling off his club's laundry list of nicks, bruises and strains.

Some 10 players wearing Red and White either hobbled off the field under their own steam or were helped to the bench in the cavalcade of suffering that accompanied the Stampeders' convincing 30-21 win over Winnipeg.

While head therapist Pat Clayton's sick bay was bursting at the seams immediately following the game, only halfback Joey Boese (hamstring) and receiver Nik Lewis (ankle) risk being sidelined when the B.C. Lions come calling Friday night.

Boese was accompanied yesterday by a Titanic-sized icepack, calling his injury "day-to-day."

Lewis was limping around with a cumbersome plastic boot cast on his left ankle, yet is determined to return for the Lions contest.

"If you ask Nik, he's playing," said Higgins, who watched Lewis make six grabs for 82 yards and one touchdown.

"Patty's pleased but we'll have to see (today) to give us a much better indication of whether he'll be able to go or not."

Linebacker Scott Coe, who left the field writhing in pain from a dislocated finger, had the digit snapped back into place by Clayton before rushing back into action.

Running back Joffrey Reynolds, who was helped off the field after suffering a stinger in his neck when tackled in the second quarter, also returned to action.

While impressive early on with four carries for 23 yards and one touchdown, after the injury he managed to earn just 24 yards on his remaining 10 runs.

"Joffrey had a little bit of a challenge after he was hurt, which I can understand it would shake your inner foundation because he's such a physical running back," Higgins said.

"He was not as physical and we were just not as effective after he got hurt as before but I think he'll be just fine."

Just 11 days ago in Vancouver, Higgins submitted the same 40-man roster that beat Saskatchewan the previous week.

Injuries forced three changes to his starting lineup against the Bombers while additional juggling will be needed to field a squad against the unbeaten Lions.

"We were blessed by the football gods and now it usually works out that it breaks even at some point in time," Higgins rationalized. "Now we've got our challenges in the fact that, should Joey not be able to go, at least we have some bodies around to make some decisions."

Those bodies include backup defensive back Lawrence Deck, who did more than just avoid costly mistakes in replacing Boese against the Bombers. Deck picked off second-string QB Tee Martin and could be called upon again Friday night, a move he has earned, according to Boese.

"Goes in and makes an interception ... that's encouraging to see a guy like that who's worked his (butt) off all week, all year for that matter," said Boese, a sizable icepack in one hand. "To come in and get a chance make something happen is a positive thing, not only for our secondary but the whole team. When he was asked to come in and make plays, he did it."

On a positive note, Higgins said C Jamie Crysdale (knee), OL John Comiskey (knee) and WR Ken-Yon Rambo (hamstring) could all return to the lineup.


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